Ingested sharp objects in children: is conservative management effective?

Jayesh Desale, Hemanshi Shah, Charu Tiwari, Deepa Makhija, Vikrant Kumbhar, Mukta Waghmare, Kiran Khedkar, Pankaj Dwivedi


Background:Ingestion of foreign bodies is commoner than aspiration in paediatric age group, especially in children less than 3 years.

Methods: Fifteen patients less than 12 years of age who were admitted with history of sharp foreign body ingestion from January 2014 to December 2015 were included in this study. These patients were retrospectively analyzed in terms of age, sex, duration of ingestion, type of ingested foreign body, symptoms, x- ray findings, average duration of stay and the time required to expulsion of the foreign body.

Results:The average age was 2.7 years. There were 7 males and 8 females. The average time of presentation was within 25 hours. Fourteen patients were asymptomatic at admission. One female child with history of ingestion of an open safety pin 8 days back had abdominal pain. The most commonly ingested foreign bodies were hairclips seen in 4 patients (26.66%). All foreign bodies were radio-opaque and seen in small bowel (8 patients) and stomach (7 patients). All objects passed out spontaneously within an average 2.5 days except one which was managed by endoscopic intervention.

Conclusions:Once foreign objects pass beyond esophagus, most traverse the gastrointestinal tract uneventfully. Conservative treatment suffices even for the ingested sharp objects in asymptomatic paediatric patients.  


Children, Ingested foreign bodies, Sharp

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