Chilli eater 'lucky to survive'
A US man who ate "ghost peppers" as part of a chilli-eating contest had to be rushed to hospital when a 2.5cm hole was burned in his throat.
Also known as bhut jolokia, ghost pepper is rated at 1,000,000 on the Scoville scale, and is 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. For comparison, the more common Jalapeno pepper has a strength of a mere 3500 Scovilles.
The man, 47, ate the chillis in pureed form, smothering the top of a burger, in a super-hot food-eating showdown streamed on the internet. But, soon after finishing his meal, he began to experience violent retching and vomiting, along with severe abdominal and chest pain.
In hospital it was that found he was suffering from Boerhaave syndrome, or spontaneous oesophageal rupture.
The man was discharged after 23 days with a gastric tube in place.
"Boerhaave syndrome has a high mortality rate and the man was lucky to survive," the hospital said.
"This case is an important reminder of a potentially life- threatening surgical emergency initially interpreted as mere discomfort after a large spicy meal."