When you think of people showing up at the emergency room needing an object removed, you probably envision someone staggering in with a visible, manmade item -- such as a knife -- jutting from their body. In reality, some of the things most frequently taken out during ER visits are internal organs.
Appendicitis is one of the top reasons for an emergency room visit, and it almost always results in an appendectomy (the removal of the appendix, a vestigial organ that serves no obvious purpose in the human body, but can become dangerously inflamed).
Another common organ removal that often originates with an emergency medical visit is the gallbladder. Gallstones are the most common cause of abdominal pain in people who are admitted to an emergency room [source: University of Maryland Medical Center]. And in the case of an acute gallbladder attack, an emergency physician may recommend a cholecystectomy (surgical gallbladder removal).
Sometimes, however, it's not an organ that needs to be removed; it's a formation in the organ that's causing trouble. Kidney stones are notorious for sending people to the ER, and if they can't be passed easily, they may need to be removed surgically.
Want to learn more about what goes on in an emergency room? We have lots more information below.
- Alao, A.O. and B. Abraham. "Foreign Body Ingestions in a Schizophrenic Patient." West African Journal of Medicine. January-March 2006 (June 30, 2011). http://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajm/article/viewFile/28286/5053
- American College of Emergency Physicians. "Eye Emergencies and Wounds." (June 30, 2011). http://www.emergencycareforyou.org/EmergencyManual/WhatToDoInMedicalEmergency/Default.aspx?id=238&terms=objects+remove
- American College of Emergency Physicians. "What to do in a Medical Emergency: Foreign Bodies in Nose or Ears." (June 30, 2011). http://www.emergencycareforyou.org/EmergencyManual/WhatToDoInMedicalEmergency/Default.aspx?id=246&terms=objects+remove
- Bacon, Janice. "Foreign Body, Vagina." eMedicineHealth. Aug. 19, 2005. (June 30, 2011). http://www.emedicinehealth.com/foreign_body_vagina/article_em.htm
- B.E. CPR. "CPR Can Save a Life - Become Educated in CPR." (June 30, 2011). http://www.becpr.org/facts_statistics.aspx
- CBS News. "Boy Has Souvenir after BB to the Brain." May 18. 2009. (June 30, 2011). http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/05/18/national/main5022428.shtml?tag=mncol;lst;6
- CBS News. "Swallowed Coin Cache Proves Fatal." Feb. 11, 2009. (June 30, 2011). http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/02/19/health/main601131.shtml?tag=mncol;lst;10
- CBS News. "The Case of the Missing Crayon." Dec. 24, 2010. (June 30, 2011). http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/12/24/uttm/main7180470.shtml?tag=mncol;lst;1
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Nail-Gun Injuries Treated in Emergency Departments -- United States, 2001-2005." April 13, 2007. (June 30, 2011). http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5614a2.htm
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2008 Emergency Department Summary Tables." (June 30, 2011). http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ahcd/nhamcs_emergency/nhamcsed2008.pdf
- Daily Cognition. "13 Bizarre Objects Ever Found Inside People." (June 30, 2011). http://www.dailycognition.com/index.php/2011/03/09/13-bizarre-objects-ever-found-inside-people.html
- Elixhauser, Anne and Pamela Owens. "Reasons for Being Admitted to the Hospital through the Emergency Department, 2003." Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. February 2006. (June 30, 2011). http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb2.pdf
- Encyclopedia of Children's Health. "Foreign Objects." (June 30, 2011). http://www.healthofchildren.com/E-F/Foreign-Objects.html
- Geria, Rajesh. "Ultrasound Guided Procedures -- V. Foreign Body Localization." Ultrasound Guide for Emergency Physicians. (June 30, 2011). http://www.sonoguide.com/foreign_bodies.html
- Hogan, Victoria L. "Rectal Foreign Body Removal." Medscape. March 29, 2009 (June 30, 2011). http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/80963-overview
- Home Safety Council. "Obstructed Airway Injuries." (June 30, 2011). http://www.homesafetycouncil.org/aboutus/Research/re_sohs_w017.asp
- Jung, Eun-Joo; Ryu, Chun-Geun; Kim, Gangmi; and Hwang, Dae-Yong. "Impaction of a Foreign Body in the Rectum by Improper Use of a (Electronic) Massager: A Case Report." Journal of the Korean Society of Coloproctology. June 14, 2010 (June 30, 2011). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2998008/
- Marin, JR and JL Trainor. "Foreign Body Removal from the External Auditory Canal in a Pediatric Emergency Department." Pediatric Emergency Care. Sept. 22, 2006. (June 30, 2011). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16983246
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health. "Emergency Department Visits for Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses in Massachusetts, 2001-2002." January 2007. (June 30, 2011). http://www.mass.gov/Eeohhs2/docs/dph/occupational_health/work_related_emergency_visits_01_02.pdf
- MedlinePlus, National Institutes of Health. "Fecal Impaction." Jan. 31, 2011 (June 30, 2011). http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000230.htm
- National Center for Emergency Medicine Informatics. "Rectal Foreign Bodies." (June 30, 2011). http://www.ncemi.org/cse/cse0612.htm
- National Center for Emergency Medicine Informatics. "Vaginal Foreign Bodies." (June 30, 2011). http://www.ncemi.org/cse/cse0804.htm
- National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. "Appendicitis." Nov. 2008 (June 30, 2 011). http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/appendicitis/
- Orlinsky, Michael; Knittel, Paul; Feit, Theodore; Chan, Linda; and Mandavia, Diku. "The Comparative Accuracy of Radiolucent Foreign Body Detection Using Ultrasonography." American Journal of Emergency Medicine. July 2000 (June 30, 2011). http://www.slredultrasound.com/Filesandpictures/FB2.pdf
- Seinfeld Scripts. "The Fusilli Jerry." (June 30, 2011). http://www.seinfeldscripts.com/TheFusilliJerry.htm
- Singer, Brett. "Bizarre Emergency Room Injuries, the Sequel. ParentDish. Dec. 2, 2010 (June 30, 2011). http://www.parentdish.com/2010/12/02/bizarre-emergency-room-injuries-the-sequel/
- Sobnach, S. and A. Nicol, H. Nathire, D. Kahn and P. Navsaria. "Management of the Retained Knife Blade." World Journal of Surgery. July 2010 (June 30, 2011).
- University of Maryland Medical Center. "Gallstones and gallbladder disease --Treatment." June 26, 2009. (June 30, 2011). http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/what_general_approach_treating_gallstones_gallbladder_disease_000010_7.htm
- Wasfi, Ehab and B. Kendrick, T. Yasen, Priya Varma and Alaa A. Abd-Elsayed. "Penetrating Eyelid Injury: A Case Report and Review of Literature." Head and Face Medicine. Jan. 14, 2009 (June 30, 2011). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2629464/?tool=pmcentrez
- WebMD. "Kidney Stones - Treatment Overview." Aug. 18, 2009 (June 30, 2011). http://www.webmd.com/kidney-stones/kidney-stones-treatment-overview
- WebMD. "Swallowed Objects - Topic Overview." Oct. 8, 2009 (June 30, 2011). http://firstaid.webmd.com/tc/swallowed-objects-topic-overview
- Wong, David T. and Blumstein, Howard A. "Foreign Body, Eye." eMedicineHealth. Oct. 25, 2005 (June 30, 2011). http://www.emedicinehealth.com/foreign_body_eye/page4_em.htm
HowStuffWorks looks at the evolution of ambulance services and why the idea that they don't pick up people in some neighborhoods is incorrect.