Florida Man Suffers Medical Emergency After Coughing and Sneezing at Diner

A motion blurred photograph of a patient on stretcher or gurney being pushed at speed through a hospital corridor by doctors & nurses to an emergency room

During breakfast with his wife, a man suffered an unexpected injury after simultaneously coughing and sneezing.

A ‘wet’ feeling and then intense agony hit the 63-year-old. He discovered several inches of protruding colon from his surgery incision when he raised his shirt.

He had just had abdominal surgery, and his incision wound was supposedly “well-healed.”

Upon the arrival of the ambulance, the paramedics noted a three-inch breach through which ‘huge volumes of intestine’ protruded, according to his wife’s accounts.

His intestine was successfully reinserted into his belly by the doctors at the hospital.

No other problems arose after the man spent six days recuperating in the hospital before being discharged.

Wound dehiscence, the reopening of a surgical site, can lead to the rare but deadly consequence known as disembowelment, in which the patient’s internal organs emerge through an incision. The reopening of a surgical site is believed to occur in up to three out of every hundred individuals who have undergone abdominal or pelvic procedures, with an additional 10% of older patients being at risk.

Excessive blood loss, chronic intense discomfort, or damage to exposed organs can be fatal for four out of ten individuals.

The paper’s authors conclude that coughing is a significant risk factor for the complication, as experts agree.

Surgery to transplant organs into the abdomen and suture the incision is the only treatment option when this condition manifests. The exposed organs should remain wet until surgery; a sterile saline coating should also be applied over eviscerations.

In the two weeks leading up to the occurrence, the guy from Florida had a cystectomy—the removal of the bladder—performed to alleviate difficulties stemming from his prior struggle with prostate cancer.

After a successful operation, the patient was discharged from the hospital ‘in good condition.’

Until he coughed.

The individual had a “reassuring abdominal examination” and made a full recovery over the following few days.