Tuesday, September 04, 2007


i know why i'm not a microbiologist. in one word, worms.

i was doing a gastroscopy. the patient had a previous gastroenterostomy (small bowel attached to the stomach) somewhere else for unknown reason. the result was, over and above the pyloris (the normal stomach outlet) which was normal, he had another stoma which had an afferent loop and an efferent loop of small bowel. i took a look at all three pipes leaving the stomach, intubating them one at a time.

in the efferent loop is where i saw them!! ascaris!! (see above picture to fully appreciate this little critter). they seemed pissed off that the patient was npo because they were writhing around and moving like mad. even worms get hungry. obviously every one gathered around to take a look. i think it has to do with the fascination of all that is gross.

i just wanted to run. i think i now understand that some people have a rather robust vaso vagal reaction to blood etc, because the same happens with me when confronted with worms.

one of the sisters suggested i take a biopsy. why i wondered. it's not as if i have any doubt as to what it is i'm looking at. anyway, can you imagine how the thing will go crazy if i start taking bites out of it. biopsy is just out of the question here.

i woke him up, gave him deworming treatment and sent him on his merry way.


rlbates said...

Bongi, great post. Worms in people (and pets) are never easy to "stomach".

Jeffrey said...

oh gee that's just disgusting.

Sid Schwab said...

I don't thing I've blogged about this: when a resident I was running the bowel of a young male trauma victim, stabwound or something equally indicative of a possibly not-nice person. As I was working my way along his bowel, I felt something round/circular. "Wow," I thought. He's a drug-runner (they often swallowed ballons or condoms filled with heroin. As I was pointing out my discovery, the "condom" slithered and moved, and I yelped like a little girl and dropped the bowel as if it had bit me. It was ascaris.

make mine trauma said...

Totally disgusting creatures! Did you ever see the movie about worms? It may have been titled "Worms!" not really sure but I remember the worms rearing their ugly little heads, (or was it their tails?), and screaming when they were hurt or threatened. The people tried to eliminate them by electrocuting the wet ground. Goofy movie but I'll never forget the screams!


Anonymous said...

That worm movie was "Tremors", a neat little cult film.

make mine trauma said...

It wasn't "Tremors" (unless there was one long before the Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward version). It was some goofy little B horror movie with a flood and the rise of the earthworms. Not sure what pissed the worms off bad enought to attack, like I said, I just remember the high pitched screams!