Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine News of the Weird Quackery

Talk about a real pain in the…


MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russians visiting a health resort received a rude shock when a nurse used hydrogen peroxide instead of water to give them enemas.

Itar-Tass news agency reported Thursday that 17 tourists in the Caucasus spa town of Yessentuki had to be treated in hospital after the mix-up.

All I can say is…ouch! It’s a wonder none of them burned a hole in the colon and needed an emergency operation. What would EneMan think? But what’s really funny is the excuse for the mixup:

Sources at the sanatorium said the mistake was explained by water and hydrogen peroxide looking the same. Hydrogen peroxide, which can be used to bleach hair, is used as a disinfectant but should not be ingested.

Well, that certainly explains it. I wonder if no one noticed the foaming that frequently occurs when hydrogen peroxide comes in contact with blood or other bodily fluids (and, make no mistake, if you put undiluted 3% hydrogen peroxide instead of water into someone’s colon, to borrow the title of a movie, There Will Be Blood). Maybe they thought that the bloody, foaming enema effluent that was no doubt being returned (coupled with the screams of spa goers from intense abdominal pain) was nothing more than the “toxins” coming out. Either that, or it was a microenema of inconsequential volume of fluid, a homeopathic enema, if you will.

Never mind, this is getting too disgusting. It just goes to show, though, that one can never underestimate the level of human stupidity.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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