Scientists swallowed LEGOs to find out how long it takes to poop one out

Why use scientists? They could have used any one of my five daughters or three grandsons, whom I am sure have all swallowed Lego at one time or another.

James Chrisman of Thrillist writes an article published in The Journal of Pediatrics and Child Health last week states, on average, the amazing journey of a small yellow plastic head through the human body took 1.71 days. One of these vessels never appeared again, though. It could show up at any day now (they, presumably, won’t be looking for it, so we’ll never know) or maybe, as the blog post suggests, “one day many years from now, a gastroenterologist performing a colonoscopy will find it staring back at him.” 

(For those following up on my recent colonoscopy, which several readers have in private messages, I can say the doc removed a large polyp and two small ones, all were benign, my prostate seems fine and no Lego was found).

As for the concerns this study was meant to address, with regard to kids swallowing these toys, the paper said: “A toy object quickly passes through adult subjects with no complications. This will reassure parents, and the authors advocate that no parent should be expected to search through their child’s feces to prove object retrieval.”

Some objected to the study on Twitter and asserted, “It’s funny and interesting but wrong patient group, single type of FB, tiny sample size. It’s not EBM [evidence-based medicine] and should not change practice.”

To which the authors retorted: “Of course it’s not, it’s a bit of fun in the run up to Xmas.” Consider that the paper used as metrics the Stool Hardness and Transit (SHAT) score and the Found and Retrieved Time (FART) score.