Case of Stuck Popcorn Leads to an Open Heart Surgery


Case of piece of popcorn stuck in the teeth for 3 days leading to endocarditis

A firefighter from Britain almost died after a piece of popcorn got stuck in his teeth. 41-year-old, Adam Martin had to undergo an open heart surgery after trying to fish the popcorn from his teeth using different tools. He developed endocarditis, an infection of the heart caused by bacteria entering the blood and travelling to the heart. Endocarditis is a rare and potentially fatal infection of the inner lining of the heart, including the chambers and valves.

The infection generally occurs when bacteria, fungi or other organisms from another part of the body. For example, the mouth, enter the bloodstream, attaching to the damaged areas of the heart. According to Daily Mail, Adam tried to get out a piece of popcorn stuck in his teeth using different instruments. Including a piece of wire, toothpick, pen lid and even a metal nail. Eventually leading to endocarditis. The popcorn had been stuck in his teeth for 3 days.

A week after the popcorn got stuck, the patient suffered from night sweats, fatigue, headaches and a heart murmur, all of which were signs of an infection.

He visited a doctor on October 7th and was diagnosed with a mild heart murmur. Doctors further advised blood tests and X-rays, which did not show any significant findings. An entire month passed and his symptoms did not improve. He went to a hospital and doctors found that his heart was damaged because of an infection. Physical examination also showed a blood blister on his toe, this was later diagnose as Janeway lesion. The lesions are rare, non-tender erythematous lesion on the palms and soles, measuring a few millimetres in diameter.

“I had a feeling there was something seriously wrong,” said Adam. He also recalled, “I was sleeping an awful lot and I felt terrible. had aches and pains in my legs and I just did not feel right at all. I was admitted to hospital the same day for tests. By this point, I was very worried,” said Adam.

Fortunately, the doctors diagnosed him at the right time and were able to save him. He underwent an operation to remove the infected blood clot from his leg. And another surgery for replacing a valve in his heart. “I wasn’t far off death’s door and I am extremely lucky,” Adam told Daily Mail. On October 21st, he was shifted to the Derriford Hospital in Plymouth where he underwent a 7-hour open heart surgery to replace his heart’s aortic valve and repair the mitral valve. The two valves were damaged by infection.

He made an uneventful recovery.


Source: Daily Mail

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Dr. Aiman Shahab is a dentist with a bachelor’s degree from Dow University of Health Sciences. She is an experienced freelance writer with a demonstrated history of working in the health industry. Skilled in general dentistry, she is currently working as an associate dentist at a private dental clinic in Karachi, freelance content writer and as a part time science instructor with Little Medical School. She has also been an ambassador for PDC in the past from the year 2016 – 2018, and her responsibilities included acting as a representative and volunteer for PDC with an intention to make the dental community of Pakistan more connected and to work for benefiting the underprivileged. When she’s not working, you’ll either find her reading or aimlessly walking around for the sake of exploring. Her future plans include getting a master’s degree in maxillofacial and oral surgery, settled in a metropolitan city of North America.


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