Surgeons URGE People To Get Rid Of This Item Now

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Canadian surgeons are urging people to throw out wire-bristled barbecue brushes, because none of them have figured out a surefire way of removing the wires when they get stuck in people’s throats.

The thin, sharp wires can come off the brushes, attach to barbecue grills and cling to food without being noticed. If it’s swallowed it can cause damage to the throat and epiglottis, which is the flap of cartilage that covers the opening of the windpipe when swallowing.

That’s when surgeons can be called in to help.

“It’s a needle in a haystack, but the haystack is your tongue,” said Dr. Ian Dempsey, an otolaryngologist in Dartmouth, N.S.

“It’s not an easy structure to go fishing around in, especially when it gets embedded in deeply.”

The issue of barbecue brush bristles has become so widespread that it came up at this year’s meeting of the Canadian Society of Otolaryngology. During a discussion on ingested foreign objects that are difficult to remove, Dempsey said several ear, nose and throat surgeons spoke about their challenging surgeries.

“None of us have figured out a surefire way to get rid of them, so we’d prefer just to prevent it from happening in the first place,” Dempsey said.

“We’re hoping that if enough people raise this issue, hopefully we’ll just eliminate those types of brushes from the market and use a safer alternative.”

Dempsey, who likened the surgery to removing an acupuncture needle from a grapefruit without damaging any part of the fruit, said the number of cases across Canada isn’t tracked.

Hospitals in the Halifax area are seeing at least one or two cases each week, he said, adding that many of the wires can be removed by emergency room physicians but a few “get deeper in and lower down” and require surgery.


  1. Ruth williams

    September 4, 2016 at 8:48 am

    I’m in love with my grandkids I’m not allowed to watch my grandchildren anymore because I I allow them to play on the computer for one hour in the morning and one every afternoon then they have to go outside and play and be regular kids like i did.I love my grandkids but they are not help by not getting regular exercise outside playing. And my kids are just as bad as my grandkids if not worse

  2. Melanie Hutchison

    November 21, 2016 at 1:35 am

    Yamil A Santos

  3. Carrie Newcom

    November 21, 2016 at 1:45 am

    Darren Newcom

  4. Cristina Viana

    November 21, 2016 at 1:50 am

    Ricardo Santos

  5. Whitney Williams

    November 21, 2016 at 3:09 am

    Nick Skelton

  6. Ariel Bauman

    November 21, 2016 at 4:18 am

    Brian Bauman crazy!

  7. Donovan Hixson

    November 21, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Sounds like a Canadian problem.

  8. Karla Armendariz

    November 21, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Javier Pimentel

  9. Jeami Duncan

    November 21, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Paul Duncan

  10. Kenea Dhillon

    November 21, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Ryan Phillips….

  11. Jasmine Brady

    December 21, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    Matthew Brady

  12. Dua Sayed

    December 21, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    The item is a wire-bristled BBQ brush.

    The thin, sharp wires can come off the brushes, attach to barbecue grills and cling to food without being noticed. If it’s swallowed it can cause damage to the throat.

    • Hello

      October 30, 2017 at 2:44 am

      Hello The wire brushes are a “must need to get rid of “. For children yet for all ages. An older teen aged had eaten a nice chicken dinner with family. Months of being sick and the many trips to the PCP and ER visits. A few months of this and ended up being kept in the hospital. No one could find what was killing a healthy teen aged male who prior to being on deaths bed was a healthy and very active life. The symptoms were many; vomiting and diarrhea with blood and vomiting the bodies waste was coming up with vomiting. Bloodwork all showed infection and so much more. He had to have emergency operation do to blood loss of the bowles. Many feet the surgeon had to remove while doing this the surgeon completely went through all intestines. During that he had seen a tiny shining object and it was seen only by chance as it had shined off of overhead operation items. It had lodged inside intestines cutting off blood supply and this is why the vomiting of ones own waste. It was removed the completion of the surgery It was identified as one tiniest of a single wire brush. This had put an otherwise healthy teen aged on the death bed with months of symptoms and Drs and tests and operations and months to recover. Yes, please throw out every wire brush because it doesn’t discriminate against any of us who eats grilled foods.

  13. Trinity LeMaire

    December 21, 2016 at 7:36 pm


  14. Alicia Hancock

    December 21, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    Matthew Hancock

  15. Heather Lee McDermott

    December 21, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    Rod Pyle maybe this is what Pat ate!

    • Rod Pyle

      December 21, 2016 at 11:58 pm

      That is exactly what happened, a small wire pierced his intestines. 4 days in ER and surgery….

    • Heather Lee McDermott

      December 22, 2016 at 12:04 am

      Rod Pyle scary!

  16. Anna Anggraeni

    December 22, 2016 at 1:45 am

    Lina Mears

  17. Sara Berman Pimental

    December 22, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Michael Pimental

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