Objective We report on the increasing incidence and outcomes from intentional foreign body ingestion (iFoBI) presenting to our hospital over a 5-year period. The aim was to assess the impact on services and to identify ways to safely mitigate against this clinical challenge.
Design/method We performed a retrospective observational study of all patients presenting to a university hospital between January 2015 and April 2020 with iFoBI with a focus on objects swallowed, timing of endoscopy and clinical outcomes.
Results 239 episodes of iFoBI in 51 individuals were recorded with a significant increase in incidence throughout the study period (Welch (5, 17.3)=15.1, p<0.001), imposing a high burden on staff and resources. Items lodged in the oesophagus were more likely to lead to mucosal injury (p=0.009) compared with elsewhere. Ingested item type and timing of endoscopy were not related to complications (p=0.78) or length of stay (p=0.8). In 12% of cases, no objects were seen at endoscopy.
Conclusion In all except those patients with oesophageal impaction of the object on radiograph, there is no need to perform endoscopic extraction out of hours. A subset of cases can avoid endoscopy with an X-ray immediately prior to the procedure as a significant proportion have passed already. We discuss more holistic approaches to deal with recurrent attendances.
- endoscopic procedures
- economic evaluation
Data availability statement
All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.
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Contributors MW conceived, planned, cowrote and submitted the study and is the guarantor for the content. SY and RB collected the data, analysed it and cowrote the paper. NT, BS, IR and PB collected the data, contributed to planning of the study and reviewed the manuscript and data.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.