A man on phencyclidine (PCP), a drug that can cause hallucinations, attempted to swallow his cellphone.
The Internal and Emergency Medicine journal reports that the 35-year-old patient attempted to consume his 4 cm x 8 cm device in response to “auditory hallucinations.” When the man arrived at the emergency room, the phone could be seen sticking out from his throat. Physicians noted that he was breathing very quickly in his agitation; he had 24 respirations per minute while a healthy adult will take about 12 to 16 breaths per minute.
Doctors tried to get the phone out with forceps, but were unsuccessful. A surgical specialist and an anesthesiologist were brought in and the patient was taken to an operating room.
“The patient was emergently transported to the OR and ‘double prepped’ for both emergent cricothyrotomy and oropharyngeal intubation,” the case study authors wrote. “The device was successfully removed under procedural sedation without the need for surgical intervention.”
A tear was noted at the back of the patient’s throat, but he was treated for seven days and discharged from the hospital after two weeks.
It’s not the first time a person on PCP has downed a foreign object. In 2012, a New Jersey man under the influence of the drug bit off and swallowed his own finger at a Hudson County jail.