A 47-year-old man had to be put on a feeding tube after eating a burger with a puree made from the hottest chili pepper in the world, the “ghost pepper.” Within seconds of eating the pepper (which has a Scoville rating of more than 1 million), the man began vomiting violently and lurching on the floor.
After the man arrived at the emergency room, a pelvic and abdomenal scan revealed that there was air, fluid, and food built up in his body. Surgeons eventually discovered that he had a 2.5-centemeter hole in the left side of his throat, a condition which few people survive. The medical condition is known as Boerhaave syndrome, after the Dutch doctor Herman Boerhaave, who first discovered the ailment. Those who develop the condition will often times develop sepsis or shock, which can be fatal.
The man was put on a breathing tube for 14 days while he recovered and was eventually sent home with a feeding tube in place. Experts are not sure what caused the man’s esophagus to rupture, but it may have been the combination of vomiting and swelling.
In the Journal of Emergency Medicine, doctors wrote, “This case serves as an important reminder of a potentially life-threatening surgical emergency initially interpreted as discomfort after a large spicy meal.”
Have you ever taken the “pepper challenge”? Leave me a comment about your experience with spicy foods.