Tongue piercing blamed for soldier's death

JERUSALEM Rambam Hospital spokesman David Ratner says the soldier collapsed in July a few days after having his tongue pierced. Ratner says doctors determined the piercing caused a rare brain infection.

He said the soldier spent a month in intensive care, was transferred to a smaller hospital to recover, then collapsed again over the weekend. The 20-year-old soldier returned to Rambam, was diagnosed with liver failure and died early Sunday.

Ratner says experts are trying to determine whether human error contributed to his death.

The Israeli military says it bans tongue piercing.

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