27 April 2009

Hairball Awareness Day


Today has been designated such for reasons of public education, toward which end TYWKIWDBI is pleased to participate.

Pictured above is a trichobezoar composed of bovine hair. Phytobezoars are made of indigestible plant components - a subtype of which is diospyrobezoars from persimmon parts. Pharmacobezoars are comprised of undigested pill fragments or capsules.

The etymology of the word bezoar traces back to the Persian pahnzehr, which means "antidote," because they were used as treatment for or prevention of poisoning.

There's much more information at the National Museum of Health and Medicine, including photos of examples of the Rapunzel syndrome (small picture above), in which the hair forms a virtual cast of the intestinal tract even beyond the pylorus.

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