Orient Journal of Medicine

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Foreign body ingestion in children: case report and literature review

E Ray-Offor, NC Aneke


Foreign body (FB) ingestion is a common occurrence in children. In most cases these foreign bodies pass through the gastrointestinal tract uneventfully. The important considerations for intervention include size, shape, and composition of the FB. Also, the site of lodgement and underlying pathology in the patient with the unlikelihood of passage, are worthy of note. A 5-year old asymptomatic boy was referred to our service with a 1-week history of ingestion of a coin. A plain abdominal x-ray study done the day following the ingestion showed an oval shaped opacity in the area of the stomach. A prompt upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy was performed under general anaesthesia with cuffed endotracheal intubation, following which, a two-penny British coin was retrieved from the stomach using alligator forceps passed through a flexible gastroscope. The patient was discharged a few hours after the procedure, in a stable condition. His 7th day post-procedure follow-up visit was uneventful. A prompt endoscopy for assessment and retrieval of foreign bodies in children reduces the risk of morbidity and duration of family anxiety.

Keywords: Anxiety, endoscopic retrieval, paediatric age group, uneventful passage

AJOL African Journals Online