Tuesday, February 5, 2008 A cotton swab in the ear can kill, Quebec coroner says
(CBC) - The Quebec coroner's office says cotton swab manufacturers should warn consumers about putting their product in their ears after a man died from related complications.
"I think we should go one step further, and maybe have a pictogram on the package, with a little ear and a red X mark," Quebec coroner Dr. Jacques Ramsay suggested.
In a report released Tuesday, Ramsay said using a cotton swab even once to clean inside ears can lead to fatal consequences.
Ramsay investigated the death of Montreal resident Daniel St-Pierre, who died in March 2007, two days after he accidentally pierced his eardrum with a cotton swab.
St-Pierre, 43, died of meningitis-induced intracranial complications caused by a bacterial ear infection that he developed after accidentally piercing his eardrum with a cotton swab while trying to treat a painful earache.
While the medical community is aware of dangers presented by cotton swabs, ordinary people often aren't, Ramsay said.
The best way to clean inside one's ear is with the little finger, he said.
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Doesn't the "painful earache" indicate that there was something wrong before he popped his eardrum? People have blown ear drums all the time and don't die from it. Seems like a bad combination of things to me.
joelamosobadiah wrote:It already says on a lot of packages not to insert into the body. And I have NEVER seen one that mentioned cleaning ears as a suggested use.
That's why they were originally invented. Q-Tips doesn't state this now, but the inventor saw his wife use little balls of cotton on a toothpick to clean their baby's ear, so he made the Q-Tip to do the job better. Watch this ad from the 50s and see how they use it.
They can rewrite history, or gloss over history, all they want. The original design of a Q-Tip was made to fit into ears. To pretend otherwise silly, but understandable in today's litigious society.