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Open Access Open Badges Case report

Clasp knife in the gut: a case report

Chintamani*, Anuj Mishra and Dinesh Bhatnagar

Author Affiliations

Department of Surgery, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College, Safdarjang Hospital, New Delhi 110029, India

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BMC Surgery 2003, 3:12  doi:10.1186/1471-2482-3-12

Published: 10 December 2003



A wide range of foreign bodies has been retrieved from the gut and reported. The presentation may be in the form of complications like intestinal obstruction, perforation and formation of abscesses etc but there is no case report of a half open clasp knife being retrieved from the ileum, the patient having thrived, in spite of its presence for a period of eight months.

Case presentation

A 30-year-old administrative clerk had undergone emergency abdominal surgery eight months previously under mysterious circumstances at a remote district hospital and had recovered completely. Later the blade of a knife was accidentally detected when an X ray of the abdomen was done during a routine follow-up visit to his family physician. Surgery revealed a clasp knife in the ileum, which was retrieved. The presence of an entero-enteric fistula short circuiting the loop was the secret of his earlier survival.


To the best of our information this is the first case-report of a clasp knife in the gut and of the patient thriving in spite of its presence. We report here the dramatic sequence of events.

Clasp knife; Ileum