How dangerous is sword-swallowing?

The study: More than 100 sword swallowers from 16 countries were asked about injuries they had suffered practising their skill

Who and when: Sword swallower Dan Meyer and radiologist Brian Witcombe, published in the British Medical Journal in 2006

The aim: To explore the side-effects of sword swallowing

What was learnt: They received data from 46 sword swallowers. Common ailments included sore throats, especially when learning the trade. They sometimes damage the oesophagus, although usually not seriously, but major bleeding of the stomach does also happen. They run a higher risk of injury when they are distracted or add to the performance using multiple or oddly-shaped swords. There had been 29 fatalities during the past 100 years.

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