Teenager Taken To Hospital After Bubble Tea Drink Completely Blocked His Bowel
People who love bubble tea are being warned to chew the little balls inside the drink after a teenager blocked his bowels.
The 13-year-old from China usually has the popular drink, also called pearl milk tea or boba, once a week. 9News reports the teen had two within the space of a couple of days and began experiencing sudden abdominal pain.
Paediatric surgeon Zhang Haiyang treated the boy and says his case should be used as a warning for everyone who drinks the tea.
"Around 3am while I was on call, a 13-year-old boy was brought in with sudden abdominal pain," Doctor Zhang said.
"X-rays pointed to bowel obstruction. While inspecting his intestines, we discovered two solid objects, one larger and one smaller. These two objects were causing his obstruction."
Surgeons had the option to remove the objects however decided against it and allowed the teen to pass them naturally, which he did about two or three days after the surgery. Dr Zhang says anyone who consumes this drink needs to chew them so they don't end up like the 13-year-old patient.
"While gathering further medical history, the young patient said he had had a cup of bubble tea about a week before his symptoms began, " he said.
"He didn't chew on the bubbles and swallowed them whole. He had another cup about three to four days after that, and on both occasions he didn't chew and only swallowed.
"It's therefore very likely that the tapioca pearls stuck together, causing his bowel obstruction."
The case is similar to one that emerged last year that was shared around the world. The X-ray of a young girl showed more than 100 of the pearls, or tapioca, compounded in her stomach.
Xiao Shen suffered severe abdominal pain and revealed that she was struggled to eat as a result of the pearls blocking her bowel. The teen added that she hadn't had a bowel movement in five days and was showing signs of significant bloating.
The girl was prescribed a strong laxative and she was able to pass the dozens of pearls naturally, but her physician wanted to used her as another example of why it was so important to chew the balls.
Tapioca are made from the cassava plant and are usually used in food thickener.
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