How doctors removed a WWII artillery shell from a patient's behind

A man came to an ER with an artillery shell stuck up his anus, so the staff called in a sapper squad.

 Time fuse of an artillery shell of the Second World War. (photo credit: WIKIMEDIA)
Time fuse of an artillery shell of the Second World War.
(photo credit: WIKIMEDIA)

A bomb-neutralizing squad was called to a hospital ER in Gloucester, England to see if the artillery shell stuck in a patient's behind could explode. The patient claimed to have "slipped and fallen on the shell" when arranging his collection of military souvenirs.

"The variety of objects we find in patients' rectums is astonishing, from sex toys and wine glasses to ketchup bottles," Dr Carol Cooper told The Sun, a British tabloid when asked about the latest case to shock the medical world, and "unfortunately we encounter such cases every day in the ER. 

However, this was the first time she needed to call the bomb squad. A man had a World War II artillery shell stuck inside his rectum.

Worrying about the patient's condition, as well as the safety of staff and patients, the doctors rushed to call the Squadron of Sappers Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) who identified the stuck object as an artillery shell used to destroy tanks during World War II.

75mm French Artillery Shell - illustrative (Credit: Flickr)75mm French Artillery Shell - illustrative (Credit: Flickr)

During an exam the team discovered that the ammunition was inactive and wasn’t a threat to patients and/or staff.  Except, of course, for the patient's health, that the tip of the ammunition might have created a hole in his intestine.

The Sun reports that the patient arrived at the Royal Gloucestershire Hospital after claiming to have arranged his military collectibles, slipped and fallen on a 17 cm by 6 cm armored penetrating rocket. It was later identified that the shell belongs to a 6-liter cannon 57mm tank anti-tank weapons that were common in World War II in the British and American armies and earned the nickname "British six-pounder anti-tank cannon.”

"The patient was found with ammunition in his anus. He claimed to have placed the ammunition on the floor, and to have slipped and fallen on it. He was in severe pain," a Gloucestershire police spokesman confirmed to 

After realizing his distress, the patient turned to ER doctors who heard about the object and called for the help of ammunition professionals and the EOD. 

"As in any incident involving ammunition, the relevant safety protocols have been followed to ensure that no risk is found to patients, staff or visitors at any time," a hospital spokesman said in a statement posted on Insider.

The pointed lead block designed to break tank armor was identified as not dangerous and was safely removed from the patient's rectum. He was released from the hospital and is expected to fully recover. 

Cooper added: “It was an inert metal block so there was no risk to life - at least not to anyone other than the patient. The patient could have died if the point of the ammunition had pierced his intestines.”

In another case, medics found 15 boiled and peeled eggs in a patient's anus. The patient suffered a perforation in part of the colon, which led to air and fluid being trapped in the abdomen. 

The patient underwent surgery which revealed that he was suffering from peritonitis due to fecal leakage. 

"The eggs were removed to the best of our ability and the abdominal cavity was thoroughly rinsed," a case study reported. After surgery, the patient was followed up in intensive care and several days later was discharged in good condition.