Physicians create a taxonomy of bread-bag fasteners that have been lodged in people's colons

Doctors have released a passionate call! They're asking any intrepid minds who will listen to design a bread-bag clip that will not get stuck in the human colon. Find out why this has been a plague until now! And is there hope for a passable clip in the future?

An unrecognized scourge has been lurking in our kitchens. It seems that each bag of bread has been fastened by a tiny little plastic chip of death, otherwise known as a bread clip. These are little loose pieces of plastic that fall off the bag, drop into food, and are sometimes accidentally ingested. That's when doctors come in — they have to yank the bread clip out of body's ungodly regions. Fortunately, physicians banded together and studied the kind of bread tags available, assigning each a name and family.

Physicians create a taxonomy of bread-bag fasteners that have been lodged in people's colons

It appears that there have been a surprising amount of cases in which these clips end up lodged where the sun doesn't shine (and medical pen lights do). These little clips do a lot of damage and can cause "small bowel perforation, obstruction, dysphagia, gastrointestinal bleeding and colonic impaction." Furthermore, they're hard to diagnose as they're translucent to X-rays and other noninvasive methods of search. Doctors only discover these little clips when they open a person up.

The preliminary work only catalogues the different bread clip types, in hopes of giving doctors a guide that they can use to identify the most dangerous offenders. They also hope that companies will be inspired to use less dangerous fasteners. The researchers note that few people are affected in Edinburgh — Edinburghian bread bags are closed with little pieces of tape.

[Via Discoblog and BMJ]