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Getting popcorn stuck in his tooth nearly cost this man his life – CTV News



A British man tried to remove a popcorn kernel that was stuck in his tooth with a pen lid, nail and wire, according to media reports, leading to a serious infection that required heart surgery to fix.

In a Facebook post earlier from this month, Helen Martin from Truro, U.K. described her husband Adam’s harrowing ordeal that ended with him getting a new heart valve.

“Adam’s infective endocarditis (a bacterial infection in heart and lungs) was caused by a small gum infection from getting a little bit of popcorn husk stuck in his gums,” she wrote.

If left unchecked, the infection — normally treated by antibiotics — can eat away at heart valves and cardiac muscles.

Martin’s husband, who she described as a “reasonably fit and healthy builder” and full-time firefighter, told Cornwall Live he was fortunate he sought medical help when he did.

Otherwise, “I could have been dead in three days,” he told the U.K. outlet.


Cornwall Live also reported that doctors determined Martin not only had a heart murmur, but also an infection and a “Janeway lesion” on his toe — a telltale sign of trouble with his heart.

Two weeks later, after Martin felt pain in his legs and had trouble sleeping, doctors told him his heart values were infected.

In the Facebook post, his wife explained “if Adam’s infection was caught earlier, it could (have) been treated with antibiotics.” Because it wasn’t, major surgery was needed.

And, in the span of one week, Martin said her husband underwent two surgeries with the latter being “open-heart surgery to replace his aortic valve, repair his mitral valve and patch up an abscess (a collection of pus).”


In an email, Toronto general practitioner Dr. Melissa Lam told that she’d never heard of a case like Martin’s before but that “poor dental hygiene is a known risk factor” in infective endocarditis.

Lam said the likely cause of the infection could have been avoided — especially if Martin had used sterile instruments to dislodge the kernel.

“In this case, it sounds like the poking and prodding the patient did with improvised tools like a pen lid and wire to dislodge the popcorn is more likely what caused the problem,” she suggested.

“In the worst cases, (infective endocarditis) can lead to severe, permanent heart damage or death,“ Dr. Lam explained.

The gums are sensitive tissues filled with blood vessels. When they’re scratched open, they become highly vulnerable to pathogens. And because the mouth is a hotbed for bacteria already, any opening or cut could spell danger.

Lam said the best protection against any infection is simply flossing regularly each day and brushing twice daily. She added that people can “minimize the chances of getting an infection during dental work by talking to your doctor about whether or not you need to take antibiotics.”

Martin appeared to echo that advice, advising her readers to see a dentist at “any sign of (a) toothache, bleeding gums, abscess” as “your gums are a bacterial highway to your heart.”

But Dr. Lam urged people to keep things in perspective. “Thankfully, the vast majority of people who get food stuck in their gums will not develop endocarditis,” she said.

“Our immune systems are usually up to the task of dealing with a few bacteria in our bloodstream,” she said. “That said, infections and inflammation resulting from poor dental hygiene have also been linked to other serious conditions like hardened arteries, Alzheimer’s disease and kidney disease, so it’s always a good idea to be pay attention to your oral hygiene.”

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Sask. to offer monoclonal antibodies to some COVID-19 patients – Flipboard



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Saskatchewan won’t impose more COVID-19 measures: Premier Scott Moe

The Toronto Star – The Canadian Press • 16h

REGINA – Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says he will not bring in additional COVID-19 measures because it ultimately takes away people’s personal …

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EOHU recommending flu shots for area residents, as winter approaches – The Review Newspaper



As the fall and cooler weather arrive, they bring with them the start of flu season. According to the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, the flu shot is the best protection against the flu, and with the presence of COVID-19 in the community, getting your flu shot is more important now than ever. The flu shot has been approved for use alongside COVID-19 vaccines and is a key step in keeping healthy this season.

“It’s especially important that people get their flu shot this year,” says Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU). “Both COVID and the flu share symptoms and, despite their similarities, being fully vaccinated for COVID won’t protect you from the flu.”

“Getting the flu shot can help you stay healthy and reduce the pressure on health care centres.”

Getting the flu shot could also help reduce the demand on COVID-19 assessment centres. The fewer number of people who develop flu symptoms, the fewer who will need to get tested for COVID-19.

The flu shot is available at various locations throughout the five Eastern Counties and Cornwall, including through some healthcare providers, community health centres, participating pharmacies and by appointment at the EOHU for children ages 6 months to under 5 years, and their immediate family.

Appointments for children at the EOHU will be available as of November 1. Call to book your child’s appointment starting on October 25. Residents must bring a piece of identification to their appointment. To find out more about where you can get the flu shot, visit

Certain groups of people are at higher risk of complications from the flu and are strongly encouraged to get immunized. These include:

  • children 6 months to less than 5 years of age
  • people aged 65 and older
  • people with chronic medical conditions

If you live with or provide care to someone who falls under one of the groups listed above, or care for newborn infants and children under 6 months of age, it is also highly recommended that you get immunized. This simple step will help protect you and those around you.

For more information about the flu shot, visit or call  613-933-1375 or 800-267-7120.

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Facebook, YouTube take down Bolsonaro video over false vaccine claim



Facebook and YouTube have removed from their platforms a video by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in which the far-right leader made a false claim that COVID-19 vaccines were linked with developing AIDS.

Both Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s YouTube said the video, which was recorded on Thursday, violated their policies.

“Our policies don’t allow claims that COVID-19 vaccines kill or seriously harm people,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement on Monday.

YouTube confirmed that it had taken the same step later in the day.

“We removed a video from Jair Bolsonaro’s channel for violating our medical disinformation policy regarding COVID-19 for alleging that vaccines don’t reduce the risk of contracting the disease and that they cause other infectious diseases,” YouTube said in a statement.

According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), COVID-19 vaccines approved by health regulators are safe for most people, including those living with HIV, the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, known as AIDS.

Bolsonaro’s office did not respond immediately to a request for comment outside normal hours.

In July, YouTube removed videos from Bolsonaro’s official channel in which he recommended using hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin against COVID-19, despite scientific proof that these drugs are not effective in treating the disease.

Since then, Bolsonaro has avoided naming both drugs on his live broadcasts, saying the videos could be removed and advocating “early treatment” in general for COVID-19.

Bolsonaro, who tested positive for the coronavirus in July last year, had credited his taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, for his mild symptoms. While Bolsonaro himself last January said that he wouldn’t take any COVID-19 vaccine, he did vow to quickly inoculate all Brazilians.

In addition to removing the video, YouTube has suspended Bolsonaro for seven days, national newspapers O Estado de S. Paulo and O Globo reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.

YouTube did not respond to a separate Reuters request for comment regarding the suspension on Monday night.

(Reporting by Pedro Fonseca in Rio de Janeiro; Additional reporting by Gram Slattery in Rio de Janeiro and Anthony Boadle in Brasilia; Writing by Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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