A woman admitted to hospital with a shotgun wound was nearly killed by her own bra, it has been revealed.
The 39-year-old woman had been shot at close range but was nevertheless conscious and even talking to doctors when she first arrived in the emergency room.
An X-ray showed shotgun pellets scattered throughout her chest and abdomen, but non seemed to have struck any vital organs and the medics were confident that the patient would make a good recovery.
While she was being treated, however, the woman took a sudden turn for the worse. She was rushed into an operating theatre where the surgeon made a puzzling discovery.
As the doctors made an incision into the patient’s chest, a metal wire sprang out of her body.
“This thing just literally sprang up at 90 degrees” Laura Duggan, an anaesthesiologist at the University of British Columbia, told The Washington Post.
Concerned that the woman might have had some kind of explosive device implanted in her body, the surgeon ordered the OR to be cleared, and called for the police.
“This thing just literally sprang up at 90 degrees”
As the room was clearing, however, one nurse took a closer look at the mysterious object and said “Hey, that’s an underwire!”
Ms Duggan and her colleague Martha DiGiuseppe wrote about the case in an article called “Underwire bra complicating a gunshot injury” in the March 2019 issue of the Canadian Journal of Anaesthesia.
They describe how the very sharp wire had been pushed into the patient’s body by the force of the blast and scythed into her liver, diaphragm and heart.
Radical surgery was needed to get the bleeding under control. Ms Duggan says there was no doubt that the underwired bra had made the injury ‘exponentially’ worse.
“I’ve been doing this job for 20 years. … Anything I’ve seen has probably been seen before,” Duggan told the Post. “But I would have never considered an underwire leading to a life-threatening cluster of upper-abdominal injuries, and that’s why we decided to write it up.”