The following is a summary of “Sharp-Pointed Foreign Body Ingestion in Pediatric Age,” published in the February 2023 issue of Gastroenterology and Nutrition by Quitadamo, et al.

For a study, researchers sought to evaluate the clinical issues documented following the ingestion of sharp/pointed foreign bodies (FBs) in children, their prevalence among all FB ingestions, and the characteristics and clinical presentation of children.

They gathered all consecutive patients hospitalized for ingesting sharp or pointed FB, ranging in age from 0 to 14. Children with esophagogastric FB retention which had endoscopic removal and children who were monitored radiographically until spontaneous FB expulsion had their clinical data up to hospital release accurately documented. Clinical outcomes were noted for each patient, paying particular attention to any potential long-term retention and intestinal wall perforation.

We have 580 youngsters enrolled (males/females: 292/288; age range: 11–180 months; mean age ± standard deviation: 50.5 ± 42 months). Of the 580 sharp/pointed FBs, glass and metal fragments made up 180 of the 580 (31% each) and 270 (46.55%), respectively. While the remaining FBs went through the gastrointestinal tract for an average of 29 hours, 79 of 580 (13.6%) children had their FBs endoscopically removed. Intestinal perforation or extended retention was not reported in any cases. However, due to the FB’s size and shape, which made it difficult for it to pass retrogradely via the esophageal sphincters, the endoscopist had to perform an unpleasant endoscopic removal in 3 of 65 (4.6%) treatments.

The unique and comprehensive statistics highlighted that unintentional ingestion of sharp/pointed FB is a contemporary problem in the pediatric age, particularly in toddlers. The most challenging FBs were metal and glass objects, and in roughly 5% of instances, endoscopic removal may not be straightforward. Luckily, no surgical intervention was required in the pediatric sample.