eISSN: 1897-4317
ISSN: 1895-5770
Gastroenterology Review/Przegląd Gastroenterologiczny
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vol. 3

Foreign bodies in the alimentary tract in children

Leokadia Bąk-Romaniszyn
Elżbieta Czkwianianc
Ewa Małecka-Panas

Przegląd Gastroenterologiczny 2008; 3 (4): 207–211
Online publish date: 2008/09/05
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Introduction: A foreign body found in the alimentary tract in small children most frequently results from accidental swallowing, but in older children it is sometimes swallowed intentionally.
Aim: The aim of the study was to perform an analysis of cases of children hospitalised at the Department of Gastroenterology, Polish Mother’s Health Centre Institute in Łódź in the years 2001-2007 due to foreign body swallowing. Material and methods: 52 children, aged from 7 months to 17 years (32 girls and 20 boys), who were admitted to hospital due to swallowing of objects (or suspected swallowing of objects) and clinical symptoms suggesting that foreign bodies were in the alimentary tract.
Results: Accidental swallowing concerned 87%, intentional 11%, and mixed 2% of the cases. Among the hospitalised children 67% were up to 4 years of age, 23% were 5-10 years old and 10% were over 10 years of age. The presence of a foreign body in the alimentary tract was confirmed in 85% of children; the body was removed in 95% of the cases, and in 5% the swallowed object was out of range of the endoscope. The objects removed were: coins 40%, small toys or their parts 17%, pins 12%, electronic batteries 10% and others 21% (including jewellery, toothbrush, telephone aerial, stone and fragments of various objects). Clinical consequences which occurred in children were differentiated: from topical such as gastric and duodenal erosive lesions in 30%, decubitus ulcers in 23%, chemical burns of the oesophageal mucosa in 7%, to acute laryngitis (2%) and aspiration pneumonia in 2%.
Conclusion: Cases of a foreign body found in the alimentary tract most frequently concern accidental swallowing of coins and small objects by small children.

foreign body, alimentary tract, children

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