Man who slept with AirPods in accidentally swallows one

AirPods (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • A Massachusetts man who slept with his AirPods in had to have one surgically removed from his esophagus after swallowing one whilst sleeping.

A Massachusetts man by the name of Bradford Gauthier had to have an AirPod surgically removed from his windpipe after accidentally swallowing it whilst sleeping.

As reported by WWLP:

A Worcester man is lucky to be breathing today after accidentally swallowing one of his AirPods.Bradford Gauthier woke up Tuesday morning and noticed he had a little trouble swallowing. He attributed it to a dry or sore throat and carried on with his day.The day before he had been shoveling snow for two hours after the Nor'easter that hit Massachusetts earlier this week; he says he went to sleep that night 'worn out.'

The following morning, Gauthier tried to take a drink from a glass of water but couldn't, before noticing that one of his AirPods had mysteriously disappeared. Gauthier says he slept with them "almost every day" so as not to disturb his sleeping children. Both his wife and son joked that he might have swallowed the device and that it seemed "too coincidental" to be true.

"They brought it up jokingly at first, but it seemed too coincidental that I would be missing it when I knew I went to bed with it, while I felt a distinct blockage in the center of my chest"

But a trip to the emergency room later doctor's found the missing AirPod lodged in Gauthier's esophagus. They performed an emergency endoscopy to remove the device and Gauthier was sent home right as rain. Gauthier reportedly said "The GI physician said it's extremely uncommon for a blockage not to be painful or severely discomforting... It never occurred to me that [sleeping with headphones] could be a safety hazard. I was really quite lucky."

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9