Self-surgery: man sticks butter knife in stomach
July 27, 2011 - 11:14AM
A US man stuck a butter knife into his stomach in a failed bid at self-surgery to remove a painful hernia, US police say.
The wife of the 63-year-old man from Glendale in Southern California called emergency services on Sunday night and told the operator her husband was using a knife to remove a protruding hernia, Sergeant Tom Lorenz said.
"She said he had impaled himself with a knife," Sergeant Lorenz said.
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Officers found the man naked on a patio lounge chair outside his apartment with a 15-centimetre butter knife sticking out of his stomach.
The man's wife told officers that her husband was upset about the hernia and wanted to take it out.
While waiting for paramedics the man pulled out the knife and stuffed a cigarette he was smoking into the bleeding, open wound, the officer said.
"What he was thinking, I don't know. I don't know if he was cauterising it [the wound]," Sergeant Lorenz said.
The man wasn't screaming or showing any signs of pain, he said.
Based on his actions and statements from the wife, Sergeant Lorenz said the man was placed on psychiatric hold and taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Centre.
Because he is on psychiatric hold for up to 72 hours under the state Welfare and Institutions Code, Sergeant Lorenz said the man's name and condition could not be released.
"You just never know what to expect," said Sergeant Lorenz, who has been on the police force for 29 years. "I've seen self-mutilation, but not a manoeuvre like this."
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