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‘Self-Embedding’ Takes Teen Self-Injury to the Extreme

Radiologists recommend minimally invasive procedure to remove staples, paper clips and more

TUESDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) — The 16-year-old went to the emergency room because of a painful infection in her arm. When doctors used ultrasound on the area, they were shocked to see about 20 foreign objects under her skin, including a paper clip, a screw from a pair of eyeglasses and multiple pieces of pencil lead.

The teen had engaged in “self-embedding,” an extreme form of self-injury, in which people — often adolescents — deliberately hurt themselves or mutilate their bodies without intending suicide. Self-embedders insert objects made of glass, wood, metal or other materials under the skin.

Determining how many teens “self-embed” is difficult, doctors say. As with other forms of self-harm, such as “cutting” or burning, many teens are ashamed of what they’re doing and take steps to conceal their behavior, said William Shiels, a pediatric interventional radiologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Between 13 percent and 23 percent of U.S. teens have reported intentional self-injury, according to background information in a study by Shiels and colleagues that was released online Sept. 7 in advance of publication in the October print issue of the journal Radiology.

Read in Full:  http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/healthday/642862.html?campaign_id=rss_topStories

More information

The Center for Young Women’s Health has more on teens and self-harm.



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