ROCKLAND State Hospital has about 7,500 mentally sick patients in the various diagnostic groups. The symptoms vary, some patients having a mild condition and others being most disturbed and violent. Those who have had experience with such patients know that it is difficult to prevent certain types of episodes such as assaults, self-inflicted injuries, suicides and the ingestion of unusual and bizarre foreign bodies. The last has been instructive and dramatic, arousing skepticism and even amazement at the fact that a human being can swallow various types and sizes of unassimilable foreign bodies and live to tell the tale (fig. 1).
In the course of consultation, treatment and operations for foreign bodies in the gastrointestinal tract since September 1944, the following observations have been most impressive: the size, shape, material, weight and length of these bodies; the mild character of the symptoms and lack of complaint in some patients because