Orbeez Ball Obstruction

Z Patel et al. Gastroenterol 2021: 161. https://doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2020.10.051. Full text: An Unusual Case of Small Bowel Obstruction

Case report of a 10 month old who developed a small bowel obstruction due to an “Orbeez” ball. “Orbeez balls are small polymer beads that absorbs water and expands, it can get up to 150 times their original size. When left out of water, the beads shrink back down to its original size. They were originally invented as a way to keep moisture in soil for plants. They are hugely popular with children and often used as toys, flower holders, air fresheners, light jars, and objets d’art in the house.”

Related blog post: Foreign Bodies in Children –Expert Guidance

#NASPGHAN19 Postgraduate Course (Part 1)

Here are some selected slides and notes from this year’s NASPGHAN’s postrgraduate course.  My notes from these lectures may contain errors in omission or transcription.

Link to the full NASPGHAN PG Syllabus 2019

8:00 – 9:00 Module 1 – Endoscopy

11  David Brumbaugh, MD, Children’s Hospital Colorado  Management of foreign bodies

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22 Petar Mamula, MD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Advanced endoscopic techniques for gastrointestinal bleeding

This talk had some terrific videos (not available in syllabus) and useful practical points.  For example, with cautery, the speaker recommended not just quickly taping the lesion, count for several seconds when applying.  For hemospray, the speaker considers this technically much easier but is using this mainly as a backup option.

Here are two screenshots (not from lecture) which provide information from manufacturer on Hemospray use (link to PDF on Hemospray Manufacturer’s PDF on Hemospray)

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36 Srinadh Komanduri, MD, Northwestern Medicine  Cancer screening top to bottom

Some of the key points:

  • IBD and colorectal cancer (CRC) screening 8-10 years after disease onset
  • ~10% of CRC in general population occurs between 20-49 years
  • Chromoendoscopy results in higher detection rates of dysplasia

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Disclaimer: NASPGHAN/gutsandgrowth assumes no responsibility for any use or operation of any method, product, instruction, concept or idea contained in the material herein or for any injury or damage to persons or property (whether products liability, negligence or otherwise) resulting from such use or operation. The discussion, views, and recommendations as to medical procedures, choice of drugs and drug dosages herein are the sole responsibility of the authors. Because of rapid advances in the medical sciences, the Society cautions that independent verification should be made of diagnosis and drug dosages. The reader is solely responsible for the conduct of any suggested test or procedure. Some of the slides reproduced in this syllabus contain animation in the power point version. This cannot be seen in the printed version.

Fidget Spinner Ingestions

A recent study (PT Reeves et al. J Pediatr 2018; 197: 275-9) reviews 3 new cases of fidget spinner ingestion; there had already been 13 cases reported to Consumer Product Safety Risk Management System since 2016.

Key points:

  • “If the object is located within the esophagus, urgent endoscopic retrieval is indicated in some cases, specifically if the object is sharp; has electromagnetic capabilities…)eg. batteries, magnets, light-emitting diodes); or fails to pass into the stomach after 24 hours; or the patient cannot tolerate oral secretions.”
  • The article recommends using the NASPGHAN foreign bodies guidelines (link below)

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Foreign Bodies in Children -Expert Guidance

The NASPGHAN Endoscopy Committee has published a very helpful “Management of Ingested Foreign Bodies” Report (Kramer RE et al. JPGN 2015; 60: 562-74).  At the current time, one way to access a PDF of the report is the following CME link on the NASPGHAN website (no login required): Management of Ingested Foreign Bodies -Clinical Report

Some key definitiions from the report.

  • Emergent removal <2 hours from presentation regardless of NPO status
  • Urgent removal <24 hours from presentation following usual NPO guidelines

As a general rule, all symptomatic ingestions in the esophagus require emergent removal if feasible.  Most gastric ingestions do not require emergent removal, exceptions include multiple magnets, sharp objects in stomach (possibly with surgery), and possibly absorptive objects (due to obstruction).

1. Button Batteries:

  • Even with “spent” batteries, there is enough residual charge to cause injury and all ingestions (even if asymptomatic) into the esophagus require emergent removal. If these batteries are in the stomach & asymptomatic, urgent removal is recommended if age < 5 years and BB ≥20 mm.

What is different in the proposed algorithm (Figure 1) compared with the Poison Center Guidelines (see:Button Battery Algorithm Link | gutsandgrowth) is more detail regarding concerns about aortoenteric fistula & what to do after endoscopy. Key points:

  • If active bleeding or unstable, endoscopic removal in OR with surgery/cardiovascular surgery is recommended.
  • If any esophageal injury, recommendations include admission, NPO, and IV antibiotics.  Chest imaging (CT angiography &/or MRI of chest) can help decide length of stay.  In those with injury close to aorta, continuation of NPO/antibiotics are recommended along with followup imaging every 5-7 days.  In those with clinical deterioration (eg. hematemesis w/in 21 days of injury), ‘assume aortoenteric fistula and emergently prepare for cardiovascular surgery.’

2. Magnets.  Figure 3 provides algorithm for single and multiple magnets (adapted from Hussain SZ et al. JPGN 2012; 55: 239-42).

  • For single magnets, emergent removal from esophagus is recommended (like all other foreign bodies) if difficulty managing secretions, otherwise urgent esophageal removal is suggested.
  • If there are multiple magnets within reach of endoscope, then if symptomatic, emergent removal is recommended, otherwise, urgent removal is suggested.
  • For asymptomatic magnets beyond the reach of an upper endoscopy, potential for colonoscopy, or enteroscopy for removal &/or serial x-rays to follow progression. If there is no progression on X-rays (every 8-12 hrs) &/or development of symptoms, then surgical removal/endoscopic removal is recommended.

3. Sharp objects. Figure 4 provides algorithm.

  • Emergent removal from esophagus/stomach is recommended (like all other foreign bodies) if difficulty managing secretions, otherwise urgent esophageal removal is suggested. For radiolucent objects, if the ingestion was witnessed, urgent removal is suggested; if not witnessed, then further imaging (CT, esophagram, MRI) could be considered.
  • With regard to sharp foreign bodies beyond the reach of an endoscope, “follow clinically with serial x-ray.  Enteroscopy or surgical removal considered if symptoms develop or >3 days without passage.”
  • Despite the low risk of severe morbidity/mortality from sharp objects (beyond esophagus), report recommends urgent “removal of all of the sharp objects within the reach of the endoscope..if possible.”

4. Food impaction in esophagus.  If symptomatic, emergent removal; if asymptomatic, then urgent removal.  Biopsies of the esophagus are recommended with endoscopy (Figure 5).

5. Coin ingestions/Blunt objects. Figure 6. “>250,000 ingestions and 20 deaths reported in the United States during a 10-year period.”

  • For esophagus: If symptomatic, emergent removal; if asymptomatic, then urgent removal.  Report recommends check X-ray immediately before sedation. While the report does not address this, a possible alternative to x-ray would be the use of a metal detector.  “Consider glucagon if distal esophageal coin or if endoscopy not readily available.”
  • For stomach: No endoscopy needed. Repeat X-ray at 2 weeks.  Remove if not passed w/in 2-4 weeks. Report recommends check X-ray immediately before sedation. While the report does not address this, a possible alternative to x-ray would be the use of a metal detector.
  • For small bowel: removal (enteroscopy/surgery) if symptomatic.
  • For objects >25 mm width or >6 cm in length –> should be removed from stomach urgently.

6. Superabsorbent objects.  The authors describe ingestions from materials from toys and diapers with polymers that can retain ‘up to 100 times their weight in water.”

  • For esophagus: If symptomatic, emergent removal; if asymptomatic, then urgent removal.
  • Stomach/small intestine: urgent removal is recommended

The authors state these recommendations are based on consensus rather than strong evidence and are “no substitute for clinical judgement.”

Take-home message: These guidelines are a good starting point to improve the management of children with foreign bodies.

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Disclaimer: These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications/diets (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician/nutritionist.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition.

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Magnetic Foreign Bodies –Still a Problem

After reading a recent article on swallowed magnetic foreign bodies (J Pediatr 2014; 165: 332-35), I was thinking quite tangentially about an article from The Onion a few years ago: Falling Down Laundry Chute And Breaking Neck Remains America .‘s No. 548,221 Killer.  In this Onion article, the author sarcastically bemoans the attitude that many people adopt that “this could never happen to me.”

What this Journal of Pediatrics study adds to the literature is that swallowed magnetic foreign bodies remain a significant health threat and are likely to remain that way despite recent recalls.

Key finding: 94 pediatric patients were identified at this single center as having infested magnetic foreign bodies between 2002-2012, with increasing incidence in the last three years of the study period.  The median age was 4.5 years. Six patients required surgical removal.

Bottomline: Magnet ingestions are a much more serious health threat than falling down a laundry chute.

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