Sharp Objects in GI Tract & Good Outcomes

P Quitadamo et al. JPGN 2023; 76: 213-217. Sharp-Pointed Foreign Body Ingestion in Pediatric Age

In this study with 580 children, consecutively recruited from 2016 to 2020, the authors examined outcomes after ingestion of sharp-pointed foreign bodies (FBs).

Key findings:

  • Mean age was 50 months.
  • Sharp/pointed FBs mainly included fragments of metal 270 of 580 (46.55%) and glass 180 of 580 (31%).
  • FBs were endoscopically removed in 79 of 580 (13.6%) children whereas the remaining FBs passed through the gastrointestinal tract over an overall mean time of 29 hours
  • No cases of intestinal perforation nor prolonged retention were observed.
  • The most common metal objects were earrings (n=72). Other objects: screws (n=20), dental works (n=20), nails (n=13), open safety pins (n=7), fish bones (n=65)

My take: I have not had a severe complication from sharp-pointed FBs (in nearly 30 yrs of pediatric GI practice); this article confirms the overall low risk that they pose.

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