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HomeHealth and LifestyleBuckhorn man requires emergency surgery after ingesting bristle from BBQ brush

Buckhorn man requires emergency surgery after ingesting bristle from BBQ brush

KAWARTHA LAKES-A Buckhorn man has a warning for anyone firing up the barbecue tonight. Get rid of your wire bristle grill cleaner.

Rob Rocan was at his cottage near Buckhorn on Monday August 28th when he first started having sharp pains in the lower right side of his abdomen.  The pain grew steadily worse until Wednesday when it became excruciating.  “When I first got up, on Wednesday, I was doubled over in very acute pain in the same area. It was at that time that I figured it was appendix problems and drove myself immediately to Peterborough hospital.” Rocan tells Kawartha 411.

Rocan says the doctor  also thought it was his appendix at first because he had no fever or nausea. However a CT scan showed something very different and very dangerous. “Within an hour the same doctor took me into a room and informed me that I had a bbq brush bristle embedded in my intestine and that the surgeon would be in to see me shortly.”

Rocan says Dr. Cheverie told him this was her third similar case in the last few weeks.  “I was being put into an emergency queue for an operation to have this bristle removed immediately. She said that it was going to be a laparoscopic abdominal surgery and an incision would be made in my intestine.” But the Doctor also told him he may have to have part of his intestine removed if there was too much damage. “I was put under and operated on within 3 hours of diagnosis and came out of it to find that it was the first scenario and all was fine and the bristle was removed.”

He was released the next day and must take two weeks off work to recover.  He has since filed a complaint with Health Canada as well as with Wal-Mart Canada on Chemong Road in Peterborough, where he purchased the brush last year. “I have asked Wal-Mart to remove this style of brush from their shelves but expect no action from them” he told Kawartha 411.

Rocan says he is upset because it could have been one of his grand kids that ingested the bristle.  “My grandson was here, the only possible day, for dinner when I could have ingested the bristle. It could easily have been him that unintentionally ingested it. He is only 19 months old and would not have been able to communicate his discomfort in the same way”

He is also upset that he had no idea the harm these brushes could cause.  ‘It was my first time knowing about this problem with people swallowing these bristles and that Health Canada hasn’t already banned them even though there are many safer options available on the market,” he says.  “In the end… I want these bbq brushes, with the wire bristles, banned in Canada and immediately taken off store shelves.”

Health Canada is conducting an investigation into the safety of wire-bristle brushes used to clean barbecues, with plans to release results by the end of the summer according to officials. The agency says it has received nine reports of injuries from wire bristle brushes since 2011.

Rob in happier times at the cottage

Failing total removal from the shelves Rocan wants proper warning labels on these products so that the public is aware of the dangers. “I would also like to see the retailers being held responsible for any consumer issues that can arise because of these potentally dangerous products.”

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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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