Bradford Gauthier, a resident of Worcester, Massachusetts, learned the hard way that Apple’s wireless AirPods are a choking hazard not only to kids but also to adults.
Following a couple of hours shovelling snow, Gauthier put his AirPods on and went to bed. The very next morning, Gauthier woke up one AirPod short and with slight discomfort in his chest.
“I went back out in the morning and shoveled [snow] for an hour. When I came in, I tried to drink a glass of water again and couldn’t”, Gauthier told WWLP News 22.
Prodding from his family about the possibility of Gauthier having swallowed the missing AirPod in his sleep prompted a trip to the nearest Emergency Room, where an X-ray revealed that the missing wireless earpiece had indeed made its way down his gullet and was now blocking it.
An emergency endoscopy was performed to remove the lodged AirPod, after which Gauthier was sent on his merry way.
“The GI physician said it’s extremely uncommon for a blockage not to be painful or severely discomforting”, added Gauthier. “It never occurred to me that [sleeping with headphones] could be a safety hazard. I was really quite lucky.”
The possibility of the AirPods’ lithium-ion battery leaking inside his digestive tract posed yet another risk for Gauthier, one that he was, fortunately, able to avoid.
At least we know that if the AirPod hadn’t gotten stuck in his esophagus and actually made its way through his digestive system, chances are that it would have still worked.