A new study by radiologists reports on teenage girls embedding needles, glass, and other objects in their flesh. While subdermal implants are nothing new in the realm of extreme body modifications, the researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio suggest that the increasing number cases they've seen are actually a form of self-injury similar to cutting. From the Chicago Tribune:
Personnel at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, report extracting 52 foreign objects that 10 teenage girls deliberately embedded in their arms, hands, feet, ankles and necks over the last three years, including needles, staples, wood, stone, glass, pencil lead and a crayon.
One patient had inserted 11 objects, including an unfolded metal paper clip more than 6 inches long...
The study, presented Wednesday at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago, is the first to report on this type of self-inflicted injury among teenagers, the researchers said. They call the behavior "self-embedding disorder."
Dr. William E. Shiels II, the study's principal investigator and the hospital's chief of radiology, said that uncovering the behavior was unexpected but that researchers are now hearing about cases in other cities. The hospital recently set up a national registry to track incidents and conduct research.
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