Stunned doctors removed bags of oil from a pregnant woman's blood after she guzzled bucketloads of greasy fried chicken for days – almost killing herself and her baby.
The patient, identified only as a Miss Li, went to hospital with crippling stomach pains after munching the fat-laden feast.
She was 32 weeks pregnant and worried docs admitted her immediately as she had been vomiting heavily for three days.
The mum-to-be limped into the obstetrics clinic at Clifford Hospital in the port of Guangdong, Hong Kong, with the support of her family after spending two days binging on fried chicken and pork.
Staff were shocked when her blood tests found that she had more than 25 times the normal level of fat in her blood at more than 50mmol/l. People normally have 1.9mmol/l.
She was diagnosed with acute severe pancreatitis caused by hyperlipidemia – having too much fat in her blood – that can easily lead to multiple organ failure and a host of other problems including death of both mother and baby.
Teams sent her to the ICU where they performed a total plasma exchange, removing bags of filtered grease from her blood.
On August 29 her cholesterol fell to a safer level and both mother and baby survived.
She has since sworn off high calorie food, though ICU Director Liu Yunsong advised that the hyperlipidemia was likely to do with her genetics and is not only about being fat.
According to Director Liao Dongxia of the Obstetrics Department of Clifford Hospital, acute pancreatitis during pregnancy can occur at any period including after pregnancy.
Affected by oestrogen and progesterone in the early stage of pregnancy, cholesterol and triglycerides will increase by about 30% and reach a peak in the latter part of pregnancy.
Excessive intake of high fat and high calories can easily lead to excessive blood lipids when women are expecting.
It comes after a 54-year-old man died from only eating liquorice. The sweet-toothed victim used to eat around one-and-a-half bags of the sickly treat a day.
The unnamed man suffered no symptoms but suddenly went into cardiac arrest in a fast food restaurant.
Doctors said the patient had a "poor diet" and ate "lots of candy" and believe his death could be "related to candy consumption."
Dr Elazer R Edelman said in the New England Journal of Medicine his doctors said the glycyrrhizic acid in liquorice was to blame.
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