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Surgeons remove barbecue brush bristle from Washington man's gut

A 31-year-old Washington state man gets a barbecue tool bristle stuck in his stomach. KING's Chris Daniels reports.

TACOMA, Washington – A man underwent emergency surgery after a steel bristle from a barbecue grill brush got into his steak became lodged in his intestinal tract.

Adam Wojtanowicz went to Tacoma General Hospital after antibiotics and medication didn’t ease his acute stomach pain on Sunday.

“I would say it was more like being stabbed in the gut,” said the 31-year-old.

His case came despite a warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – published to coincide with the 4 July celebrations and reported by msnbc.com Vitals – into the danger posed by barbecue grill brushes.

Physicians at the hospital performed a CAT scan, and Dr. Steve Norton performed emergency surgery on Wojtanowicz, removing a thin, metal bristle from his intestinal tract.

Something not so tasty in your barbecue? Brush debris


A doctor performed emergency surgery on Adam Wojtanowicz and pulled out a thin, metal bristle from his intestinal tract.

Wojtanowicz said he recently hosted a barbecue at his house, and the steel bristle from his grill brush likely fell on to his steak.  He said he probably swallowed it without knowing.

The CDC says it knows of at least six people who have recently suffered similar injuries from brush bristles.  It does not blame a particular brand or type of brush.

Read the full story at KING 5

“This is a huge public safety issue,” says Norton, who says if untreated, the bristle could lead to internal intestinal leakage resulting in death.  “I’m now going to think every time now that I go out and barbecue my steaks.”

Wojtanowicz was expected to make a full recovery.

 “This solidifies the fact it’s the most expensive steak I’ve ever bought,” he said.

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