Sparks fly as penis ring cut off with angle grinder

Sparks flew at the emergency department at the Mater University Hospital in Dublin as fire brigade personnel were called in to use an electric angle grinder to remove a metal ring from a man’s penis.

A unit of Dublin Fire Brigade was called after medics tried unsuccessfully to remove the ring from the man’s sore and swollen genitalia. The medics had failed to remove the ring with orthopaedic instruments, including a saw, and bolt and bone cutters, which failed to grasp or even indent the ring, due to its durability and size.

The man had presented with what the medics in the March edition of the Irish Medical Journal (IMJ) described as a rare case of ‘penis strangulation’ which requires urgent intervention to avoid potential organ-threatening complications and to resolve blood flow issues.

The man had sex seven hours prior to presenting at the A&E and, before sex, had applied a titanium penoscrotal constriction device.

The medics stated that such devices are either used for autoerotic stimulus or to increase sexual performance by maintaining an erection for a longer period.

The medics recorded that the man presented to the A&E with pain and swelling of his penis and scrotum. Medical staff applied ice-packs to the penis and scrotum, but failed to reduce the swelling.

After the man was sedated, fire brigade personnel cut the device in two with the hand-held angle grinder. The medics continued to run water over the penis and scrotum throughout the procedure to prevent overheating or thermal damage to the skin.

The procedure to remove the ring took 20 minutes and the IMJ paper reports “that protective fire protection sheets were used to protect the patient and staff from sparks”.

A metal forceps was placed under the ring to prevent damage by the angle grinder.

There was instant relief for the man and the medics reported that sensation and capillary refill returned after the procedure.

On review one month on, the man reported no issues sexually in relation to his penis.


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