A man has burned a hole in his throat after trying to eat the world’s hottest chilli, a medical journal has revealed.
The 47-year-old American ate a burger smothered in a puree made of Bhut jolokia – luminous orange chillies that grow in India, also known as ghost peppers.
Within seconds, the man began to vomit.His vomiting continued so violently that he eventually tore a hole in his esophagus.
The 47-year-old American ate a burger smothered in a puree made of Bhut jolokia – luminous chillies that grow in India, also known as ghost peppers. He ended up with a feeding tube. It was not until he began reeling on the floor in pain that he was taken to the emergency room.
Doctors performed an abdomen and pelvic scan that revealed a build up of air, fluid and food inside his body.
Eventually he was wheeled into the operated room where surgeons discovered a 2.5cm tear in the left side of his throat.
According to the Journal of Emergency Medicine, the man was given a tube to aid his breathing for 14 days as he recovered. He then spent another nine days in hospital before he was eventually discharged – with a feeding tube in place.
Writing in the Journal, medics said: ‘This case serves as an important reminder of a potentially life- threatening surgical emergency initially interpreted as discomfort after a large spicy meal.’
Few people survive a tear in the esophagus, a medical complication known as Boerhaave syndrome. It was first reported in 1724 by a Dutch doctor called Herman Boerhaave. With very few typical symptoms, it is difficult to diagnose before it is too late. After a while, sufferers commonly develop potentially fatal shocks or sepsis.
However, around a third of cases happen under unusual circumstances.
It is not clear how the ghost pepper prompted the man’s esophagus to rupture – whether it was the inflammation, the retching, something else, or a combination of factors. Ghost peppers have a Scoville rating of more than one million. To put that in perspective: a sweet bell pepper has 0, Tabasco has 100, and Jalapeno has 2,500.
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