You won't believe how these 5 people ended up in hospital2 minute read
In 2015, 10.2 million people were hospitalised in Australia, 2.5 million underwent surgery and 7.4 million went to public hospital emergency departments.
However, some of the cases were anything but ordinary.
While the three most common reasons for hospitalisation were dialysis for kidney disease (1.4 million people), cancer treatment (1.1 million people) and digestive disorders (1 million people), hospital departments also deal with a range of less talked about procedures.
Here are some of the more bizarre stories from across the globe that keeps hospital staff busy.
1. Tummy tracker
A 13-year-old girl surprised doctors in South Korea when they discovered she had swallowed her fitness tracker. The girl put the device in her mouth while swimming and, after waiting 30 unsuccessful hours for the tracker to pass on its own, doctors removed it with a lasso-like tool. The girl and the fitness tracker both survived in good working order.
2. Twinkle toes
An Australian baby has surgeons to thank for saving her feet while she was still in the womb. In one of the world's first cases of in-utero surgery, doctors cut the amniotic bands wrapped around the unborn baby's ankles, restoring circulation and ensuring she’d be able to grow up wearing shoes.
3. Gone fishin'
A 52-year-old man had a bone to pick with the Red Sea after he collided with a school of fish while swimming. Shortly after the incident, he developed a swollen eye and doctors later removed two fish jawbones from his eyelid during surgery. The man made a full recovery. The fish were less fortunate.
4. Party pooper
It wasn't a happy New Year for a 41-year-old Australian woman who inhaled an earring during a New Year's Eve party. The rogue earring had become attached to her asthma inhaler in her handbag, and became lodged in her right bronchus (airway) after she took a puff.
5. Heads or tails?
A 31-year-old Russian man who is paralysed from the neck down is set to undergo the world's first full head transplant in December 2017. In what sounds like science fiction, doctors will place the recipient's head and the donor body into deep hypothermia to limit nerve damage. They will then attach the recipient's head to the donor body using spinal cord fusion.
Preparing for the unexpected
While it always pays to prepare for the unexpected, it's the more common hospital procedures that you really need to take into account. For example, in the financial year ending in 2016, nib paid out claims for 13,398 root canal treatments, 7,692 ambulance trips and 4,649 knee procedures.
Make sure you have the peace of mind that comes with private health insurance by viewing your current nib policy or calling 13 16 42.