Review of foreign body ingestion and esophageal food impaction management in adolescents

B. Sahn
P. Mamula
C. A. Ford


Foreign body ingestion is a common clinical scenario among patients of all ages. The immediate risk to the patient ranges from negligible to life threatening. Initial and follow-up management strategies depend on multiple patient and ingested object-related factors. Available literature on this topic tends to focus on the small child or adult, leaving the clinician caring for adolescents to extrapolate this information to guide decision making for individual patients. This article reviews foreign body ingestion literature with important implications to the adolescent patient and raises awareness of some highly dangerous objects such as large button batteries, high-powered magnets, long sharps, narcotic packages, and super absorbent objects. An additional focus includes the management of esophageal food impaction. We highlight the unique aspects to the care of the adolescent with intentional ingestion and co-morbid psychiatric illness. The article concludes by discussing the challenges to prevention of ingestion in the at-risk patient.