Okay, so within a single week in January of 1993, five male prisoners from the same Bulgarian prison were hospitalized with perforations of their gastrointestinal tracts. The perforations were the result of the prisoners’ intentional ingestion of ‘crosses’ made out of paper clips and rubber bands. Two halves of a paper clip were tied crosswise with a rubber band, pulled together to collapse the cross, wrapped in a piece of paper, and ingested. The paper came loose along the journey through the GI tract, permitting the paper clip sections to spring back into a cross and tear holes in the stomach and/or duodenum. The prisoners apparently did this in order to buy some ‘leisure’ time in the hospital.
Another report, published less than a year later, of a Bulgarian prisoner who intentionally ingested a ‘cross’ made out of sewing needles. An improvement on the paper clip method, if you will.
Less than a month later, yet another paper describing six consecutive Bulgarian prisoners, all from the same jail, who ingested ‘stars’ they had constructed out of hypodermic needles. Mmm, perforations and the risk of Hepatitis C or HIV.