Yet another rectal explosion

diverse003.jpgNot so very long after our mention of historic rectal explosions comes a new report:

Explosion in Rectum” [Article in Norwegian], B. Hofstad, Tidsskrift for den Norske Laegeforening, vol. 127, no. 13, June 28, 2007, pp. 1789-90. The author, at Ullev?l Universitetssykehus, in Oslo, writes, with a reminder for other physicians:

The article describes a case of gas explosion during diathermy snare resection of a polyp in the rectum, after cleansing with a sorbitol enema. Proximity to anus prevented perforation or other complications. The patient was shown to be a methane producer by a hydrogen-methane breath test. Gas explosion is a rare complication during use of diathermy in lower endoscopy, and usually occurs in patients with sub-optimal bowel cleansing. CO2 insufflation will prevent this and should be the method of choice; first of all because it reduces patient discomfort in the period after colonoscopy.

(Thanks to investigator Kristine Danowski for bringing this to our attention.)

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