The doctors take a closer look inside their ears to prove how earwax has a really important job to do and Dr Xand meets a pioneering professor who makes body parts.
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He's Dr Chris.
And he's Dr Xand.
And yes, we're twins.
Do you know how brilliant your body really is?
My finger's got yellow puss in it.
Well, we're going to show you.
'In this series, we're pushing our bodies to their limits...'
I like the sound of this.
'..by doing extraordinary experiments on each other.'
This is my sick.
'To uncover what goes on inside.'
Ooh, that just came out of my ear.
Wow, that's amazing.
From the bizarre.
To the incredible.
So now I'm seeing things.
'It's time to find out what you're made of.'
Coming up today...
On Operation Ouch!
Things get gooey as we explore earwax.
Oh that's amazing, that's great.
Ooh, I've been stung.
Find out what to do if this happens to you.
And Xand is wowed by artificial organs.
I wonder who's going to end up with this?
Medical teams always expect the unexpected...
But no-one was expecting this.
In the waiting room is nine-year-old Lauren with her family and
she's bitten off more than she can chew.
I swallowed a clip.
It was a hair clip.
And I took it out my hair...
..to get my hair to get my hair flat and then I swallowed it and I...
Hmm, hang on.
Let's get this story straight.
Lauren was at home sitting on the sofa, watching TV with her granddad.
I don't think he's watching the programme,
someone else isn't watching the show either.
Hmm. Anyway, whilst Lauren was watching the telly,
she took her hair clip out of her hair as you do.
Yep, but what she's about to do isn't the best of ideas.
I know. She likes chewing clips and she was busy playing with this one
in her mouth when all of a sudden she accidentally swallowed it
and it's never been seen since.
Oh, dear, ouch.
What does Granddad have to say about all this?
She suddenly jumped up and ran out cos her gran was in the kitchen.
I was still reading the paper, so I didn't even know what had happened.
A lot of help you were, Granddad.
But at least someone's taking it seriously.
She put clips in her mouth, what's very naughty and bad.
You got it.
Anyway, with this clip lurking somewhere inside you, Lauren,
we need to get you checked out pronto.
And here's the man for the job.
Over to Dr Tom Cibulskas.
And how big was it, can you show me?
-Well, I think it was that big, like that.
-Well, the hair clips are about that big, aren't they?
Probably a couple of inches you think? So quite big actually.
I'm glad we sorted that out.
And if you swallow, does it feel uncomfortable?
And what we need to work out is
whether or not the hair clip is stuck in her throat
or whether it's actually gone down into her stomach.
When you swallow something, it goes down your throat
into your oesophagus, or food pipe,
and then into your stomach.
Lauren's hairclip might already have done this journey.
But if it's still in her throat,
it could go down her trachea, or windpipe,
and end up in her lungs.
Which would cause her to choke.
Did it feel like it went all the way down when you swallowed it?
-No, I didn't feel like it all went down.
-Doesn't feel like that.
OK, now I'm just going to pop this on your tongue.
-Just say ah.
OK, I can't see anything there at all.
Well, apart from her tongue and teeth obviously.
But to try to find out where on earth that clip has got to,
Dr Tom has what might seem like a harebrained idea.
OK, Lauren, we've got this little gadget, it's a metal detector.
It'll help us work out which part of you we need to X-ray
to find where the hairclip's gone.
-Listen out for the beeps everyone.
-Yep, we've got a belly beep.
But at least we can give her throat the all clear which is good news.
Sometimes when we swallow things that are a pointy or sharp,
it can feel like they're stuck.
But actually what that feeling is,
is it's where it's scraped or scratched
the lining of your food pipe
and actually it may have gone down and it may be in the stomach.
So her throat's clear, but this investigation isn't over yet.
Dr Tom needs to find out exactly where the clip is in Lauren's belly,
to make sure it won't cause a dangerous blockage
in the narrowest part of her intestines.
So it's off to X-ray.
We'll be back later to see how she gets on.
And now to our lab.
Where we do incredible experiments.
Oh, there you go.
To show you how your body works.
Just don't try anything you see here at home.
This is a tiny camera and I'm going to look inside Chris's head with it.
Now you must never put anything in your ears
or you could cause permanent damage.
We can only do this because we're doctors.
Oh, that's great, that is Chris's eardrum. Lovely.
OK, Chris, what I want you to do is close your mouth.
Plug your nose.
And now blow out gently.
Oh that's really good, that's lovely.
So what you can see there is Chris's eardrum bulging.
Now the eardrum's a very thin membrane which acts like a drum.
That's why it's called the eardrum.
It vibrates when sound waves hit it, but it has another important job -
it protects the very delicate middle and inner ears behind it.
But there's something else lurking inside your ears
that we want to show you.
I tell you what, Xand, give me the camera
and I'll have a look at your ears.
Can you see that gooey, yellow, browny, crumbly stuff?
That is Xand's earwax.
How much do I have?
A lot more than me.
That's great, because earwax is in our ears for a good reason.
But what is earwax and why do we have it?
Well, we're going to show you.
Yep, I can see right through to the other side.
What, really? Well how many fingers am I holding up then?
Wow. Didn't think that was medically possible.
Now look, that is a good sample of your earwax.
It's not pretty to look at, but it is brilliant stuff.
Earwax is actually a type of sweat.
Some people get more than others,
just like some people sweat more than others.
But everyone has it.
When the earwax is produced in your ear canal it's runny,
but it dries out as it works its way out of your ear.
This takes about a month and it's helped along by you yawning,
chewing, chatting until it flakes out of your ear naturally.
So next time you get told off for chatting in class,
you could always say you're trying to work out your earwax.
Xand, what are you doing?
I was just tasting it.
I can see that, but why?
I guess I just wanted to know what it tasted like.
Well, what does it taste like?
Actually it's not very nice.
It's very bitter and that's
because earwax is made up of around 40 different substances.
The main ones are fatty acids and cholesterol
and none of them taste very nice.
Plus the fact that it's been in your ear for about the last month.
Anyway, now we know what's in earwax, what's it for?
Well, to show you, I've got a model of Xand's ear.
There we go, Xand.
It even sounds like me.
Anyway, in the air around us there are lots of particles of dust
and bugs and other stuff.
So for this experiment,
I'm going to need some giant particles
to go with Xand's giant ear.
But as we don't have any giant bugs or dirt to go with the giant ear,
these polystyrene balls will have to do.
Now when air passes around us,
some of these dirt or bug particles could get into our ears.
With everything else supersized,
we thought we'd go for a supersized gust of wind too.
'See how many went through the hole?'
If this was a real ear, all the dust and dirt particles that went through
would have clogged up the eardrum and damaged the inner ear behind it.
So here's the only problem with this otherwise amazing model,
it doesn't have any earwax.
So let's smear an earwax type gunk in there and see what happens.
We're coating the big ear with a layer of sticky yellow stuff,
a bit like the wax in your ear and you'll see how it protects
your delicate eardrum and the inner ear behind it.
Ready? Here we go again.
Oh, that's amazing, that's great.
Look loads of them have stuck in there.
But that's what happens every day in your ears.
Any unwanted specks of dirt or bugs that get blown near your ears,
get stuck in your earwax and then moved out of your ear.
Which means your eardrum and everything behind it stays safe.
The other great thing about your earwax is that the acid in it
deters bacteria too, so it keeps infection out.
So although it might taste horrible to Xand,
it also tastes horrible for bugs.
The park, a place to have fun.
Wee, wee, wee, wee!
But it's also a place of danger.
You could trip up on skipping ropes.
You can get splatted on the forehead by a large ice cream.
-Oh, what's the time, Xand?
Or you could slip on a banana skin.
Actually, Chris, I think you're the one
that's more likely to have an accident because you're so clumsy.
What? You're the clumsy one.
You're more likely to slip on something.
You could splat me in the face with your ice cream.
Eugh. I've been stung!
Ooh. A minor injury.
..screaming, "I want my teddy!"?
..and put something cold on the area
for no more than ten minutes?
The answer is C.
So to treat a sting...
First of all scrape out the sting
with something like a credit card or your nail.
The sting sticks out and looks like a splinter.
Then put something cold on the area like frozen peas.
Good. Now hang on just a second.
I want my teddy bear. I want my teddy bear.
What are you doing?
I'm just trying option A.
But, Xand, you weren't even stung.
So scrape out the sting and put something cold on it
for no longer than ten minutes.
If you're worried, tell an adult.
We've got some incredible body tricks for you to show your friends.
Everyone's going to want to try this one.
We've got a really tasty trick for you
and I'm going to use Xand as my first volunteer.
So do you fancy a doughnut?
No, no, no...
It's not how the trick works, you've got to slow down.
So what we're going to do is we're going to give Xand
this doughnut which is covered in sugar
and you've got to eat the whole thing without licking your lips.
Do you think you can do this?
Yeah, well, that's easy, I could do that all day.
OK, ready? Here we go, this is the doughnut.
'Now let's see if Xand can eat his doughnut without licking his lips.'
-Xand! Xand! Xand!
Xand! Xand! Xand!
You're doing quite well so far, Xand, but can you keep it up?
Xand! Xand! Xand!
'Oh, you've licked.'
Who thinks that they could do the trick well?
What you think you're better than me?
Well, let's see how this lot get on.
-They're trying very hard.
-And so far no-one's licked.
You're going to lick soon, you're going to lick soon.
Sooner or later, it becomes too much to resist.
She's definitely licking.
And so is he.
So why's it so hard to resist licking the sugar off your lips?
When the jam and sugar was on your lips, it was sort of irritating.
You wanted to get rid of the irritation
and wanted the tastiness of it.
Charly has almost got it.
Your lips have more sensory receptors
than pretty much anywhere else,
making them super sensitive to even the smallest bit of sugar.
So as soon as the receptors feel something touching them,
they tell your brain to remove the irritation.
That's why you lick your lips.
It's not just that you get the tasty treat
of having all the jam and sugar on your lips,
but you also...
-He's eating doughnuts.
What you doing?
I'm just practising.
Earlier, Lauren turned up after swallowing a hairclip.
Let's see how she's getting on in accident and emergency.
Back at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital,
Lauren is hoping her swallowed hairclip can be found.
She'd been watching TV with her granddad,
who wasn't really watching at all,
when she decided to chew her hairclip
and accidentally swallowed it.
And I'm always telling her not to put clips in her mouth
but as usual she doesn't listen.
You must listen to your mum what she just said.
Tell that to your big sis.
Luckily the clip hadn't got stuck in Lauren's throat,
but it could still cause a dangerous blockage
in the narrowest part of her intestines.
So now she's in X-ray to find out
precisely what part of her belly it's hiding in.
Nice and still for me.
Anyone see it?
-Yeah, there it is.
-I was looking up there, then.
Oh, hello, hairclip.
-So is that, that is her stomach, isn't it?
And the good news is it's already passed the narrow part
of her intestines where it could have caused a dangerous blockage.
We can see it's working its way through your tummy now
and I'm afraid there's nothing we can do
apart from wait for it to come out the end.
And you know what that means.
You'll have to do-do, a number two-two.
I think if you make sure when you go to the toilet
over the next few days,
if you keep an eye out I think you'll probably see it.
Is that OK?
So it's off home for Lauren who'll be on poo patrol
for the next couple of days.
CHRIS AND XAND: Bye.
Still to come in accident and emergency,
Amy's toe needs attention.
Find out how your amazing body heals itself.
And prepare for a medical breakthrough.
Feels very much like a real ear.
Now, did you know your spinal cord is as flexible as a garden hose?
That's amazing and so is this.
In an ordinary town...
An ordinary street.
..people walking about.
There's nothing amazing about walking, Xand.
Look closer, Chris.
Wow, that guy's walking on his hands, brilliant.
Brilliant, yes. But is it amazing?
Well, just wait and see, Chris.
This is Charlie Wheeler and he's got an incredibly bendy body.
Which means he can do this.
And even this.
Charlie is a contortionist break-dancer and he's so flexible
he can make it look like there are no bones in his body at all.
People don't really know if they should be impressed by it,
if they should be disgusted by it.
There's always that thing of, "Eugh, I don't want to see it."
"Eugh!" It's kind of they have to watch it.
CHRIS AND XAND: Oh, we must watch.
So how does Charlie do these incredible moves?
Well, inside lots of Charlie's limbs,
he has super stretchy ligaments.
That's the soft tissue that holds all our bones together.
It means that he can bend certain joints
much further than most people.
Charlie trains all day, every day to make sure his ligaments
are as bendy as possible.
And he's just one of a handful of people in the world who can
do this without inflicting a serious injury on themselves.
Which is what would happen to me if I tried this.
Charlie's most dangerous move -
cartwheeling on his head.
It's so hard that there are very few people who even attempt it
and it took Charlie years to master.
Now that's amazing.
That's not how you grow organs.
Here's Investigation Ouch!
This is how it's done.
Now don't worry, somebody isn't missing an ear.
This one was made in a laboratory.
Let's meet the real life Dr Frankenstein who built it,
and find out more about how replacement body parts are made.
This is Professor Alex Seifalian.
He is working at the Royal Free Hospital in London,
creating body parts out of a special substance called bioplastic.
So what are you making here?
We're making artery, to replace damaged artery in the body.
Now an artery is a blood vessel,
that carries blood from your heart out to the rest of your body.
And this machine is making artificial arteries
by squeezing liquid bioplastic over a tube.
This solidifies in water and then when you peel it off,
hey presto, you have an artery.
So this is 2mm, very small artery.
What's so amazing about this is I've handled real human arteries
and this is how they feel.
So could an artificial artery like this one
be put inside a human being?
Yes, it goes in the heart or it goes into the leg.
Lots of things can happen to arteries.
They can get injured, they can burst, they can get blocked.
That's what happens when you have a heart attack.
So if you can make an artificial artery that works,
you can save millions of lives.
But it's not just arteries Alex is creating here,
there are more complex organs being made too.
OK, this is ear scaffold.
Oh so it feels very much like a real ear.
But you couldn't just sew this onto a human body, could you?
No, because you need to be covered with a stem cell.
Stem cells stop the body rejecting the new ear.
But what are they and how do they work?
Well, different parts of your body
are made up of different types of cells.
They're everywhere - your blood,
and even your hair.
But stem cells live in your organs and bones too
and they're like spares.
They don't have a job yet
and they're waiting to be told what to do.
What's brilliant is that scientists have found a way
to programme stem cells, giving them specific jobs.
Feel your ear right now. All that gristly stuff, that's cartilage.
Now Alex takes stem cells from the person who needs the new ear
and he puts the stem cells onto the plastic ear
and he tells them to become cartilage cells.
The stem cells grow all over the plastic ear so that it won't
be rejected by the body.
But even with the magic stem cells, this still looks like a plastic ear.
It needs skin over it.
Now Alex has done the next bit of the procedure overseas
and it went like this.
Imagine I'm the patient.
He placed the artificial ear covered in stem cells
under the skin of the patient's arm,
so that it gets a good blood supply and skin grows all over it.
Then the ear covered in the patient's own skin is removed
and repositioned where you'd normally expect to find an ear.
But Alex doesn't stop at ears. Oh, no.
Two years ago, he performed the world's first
successful transplant of an artificial windpipe.
What's absolutely amazing about this, is that doctors are now
able to make replacement body parts that actually live inside your body.
Now it's early days,
but hopefully soon they'll be able to make any body part.
In the meantime, the next thing on Alex's list is a nose.
I wonder who's going to end up with this?
Your body is brilliant.
It can even repair itself if you get injured.
As this next boy will show you.
# If there's a bone to break
# He'll break it
# If there's a knee to graze
# He'll graze it
-# If there's an ankle to sprain
-# He'll sprain it
# He's the unluckiest kid. #
Your face has more blood vessels in it than anywhere else in your body.
Yep, that's a lot of blood vessels.
Up your nose there are little blood vessels close to the surface.
They're very delicate so a nose picking finger can break them,
making your nose bleed.
First, your body needs to plug the gap.
Using platelets that are you in your blood,
they stick together like glue and stop the bleeding.
A protein called fibrin arrives at the wound
and creates a big structure that makes a big, hard scab.
New skin cells work their way to the top.
Then everything is cleaned by plasmin.
This brilliant enzyme dissolves the scab
and everything is left looking good as new.
# He's the unluckiest kid. #
Another patient has had a rather unusual accident.
Luckily, the team is ready to fix her.
In accident and emergency,
seven-year-old Amy has come in with...
A flower growing out of her head?
No, a sore foot and some very nice boots.
Yes, but what's wrong with her foot?
I'm going to go and get my toe checked to see
if it's broken cos my brother he...
..he pushed me and I got my foot stuck in the chair.
Foot stuck in a what?
How on earth?
It all happened five days ago.
Amy was at home in the lounge with her little brother.
He had his favourite show on the telly and he wasn't changing
the channel for anyone.
Well, you know what it's like when you're fave show is on.
To keep the peace, Amy decided it wasn't worth an argument,
so she thought she'd go upstairs and play.
As she got up she went to pick up her doll.
Go on then Amy, off you go.
But her brother thought she was going to grab the remote control
off him and pushed her away.
Amy went tumbling backwards, but her foot was trapped under the chair.
Well, that'll teach you for playing nicely Amy, ouch!
It really hurt that moment and stuff
and we thought it would get better but it didn't.
She might have got to grips with using crutches,
but her foot still hurts and she can't put any weight on it.
Which is a problem because Amy has some big plans on the horizon.
Well, I hope it's better in two weeks, cos it's my birthday and for
my birthday I'm doing ice skating and I need my toes to ice skate.
Yep, you certainly do.
So best to get you in to see Dr Adam Abraham.
Come through please. I like your boots.
Told you they were nice.
Yeah, but what about the toe?
So where's it the most painful, my love?
They're painful there.
OK. And does it hurt if I push in slightly?
Only a little bit.
OK, I think we need an X-ray just to make sure it's not broken.
So time for Amy to hot foot it to X-ray.
OK, nice and still for me.
If your feet were x-rayed right now, it would look like you had
twice the number of bones as your mum or dad's feet.
That's because when you're born, your feet contain soft cartilage.
As they grow, the cartilage develops into pieces of bone, but it's
not until you're about 18 that they fuse together
to make the 26 bones of an adult foot.
But has Amy broken any of her foot bones?
Time to find out.
That's your toe.
Now I can't see a break.
There could be a number of reasons for that,
one being that there wasn't a break to begin with, but she's either
done some damage to the tendons or she's just sprained it very badly.
Two, it's because it has been almost a week now.
If the break was bad, we would have seen it.
Regardless of the five, six day interval.
So it's good news and all the doctor needs to do is strap up her toe
to make sure it heals in the best position.
But does it mean that Amy will make it to the ice rink?
In two weeks.
Yeah, you've got plenty of time,
because that's almost three weeks from the original injury, isn't it?
I think it should be fine.
That's a relief.
Time to hop it, Amy, your ice rink awaits.
CHRIS AND XAND: Bye.
Next time in accident and emergency, Max's lip has ballooned.
We show you what your liver does.
And Chris finds out why we can't do without snot.
Oh there's a couple of nice ones on there.
Until then, that's all from...
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
The doctors take a closer look inside their ears to prove how earwax has a really important job to do and Dr Xand meets a pioneering professor who makes body parts. Meanwhile, over in accident and emergency, one patient has injured her toe and another has swallowed a hair clip...