2022 Pediatric Research Forum Session

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Foreign body (FB) ingestion is a clinical challenge in children. Most are accidental and occur in children under 6 years. Guidelines published in 2015 by the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) aid in the management decision-making process. We present cases of pediatric FB ingestion at UNMH between January and March 2022 and management for each case.


Case 1: A 9-year-old boy swallowed a heart-shaped pendant. Two days after being found in the stomach, it passed to the colon without intervention.

Case 2: A 5-year-old boy swallowed 17 Buckyball magnets found in the rectum for over 2 weeks. A CT scan showed them in the distal ileum. This was confirmed by exploratory laparotomy, along with fistula formation requiring repair.

Case 3: A 7-year-old boy swallowed a single magnet requiring endoscopic removal after failing to pass the stomach for 3 weeks and was causing abdominal cramping.

Case 4: A 2-year-old girl had who had 32 magnets initially in her stomach underwent endoscopic retrieval from the distal duodenum without complication.

Case 5: A 9-year-old girl had a book key in the stomach. Preparations were made to endoscopically remove it the next morning, but it passed to the distal small bowel and was allowed to pass using stool softeners.

Case 6: A 10-month-old boy swallowed a screw-nail. Upon transfer to UNMH, it moved from the stomach to the small bowel. He was asymptomatic and it was allowed to pass without intervention or complication.


Although mortality is generally low, prompt assessment of the FB type, location, symptoms, and complication potential is important to determine whether immediate removal is necessary, as is the case for multiple magnets. In most other cases, close monitoring with serial films in asymptomatic children yields uneventful passage of the FB.



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