The Dangers of Swallowing Foreign Objects: How to Prevent Accidents

eye human

The human mouth is not meant to be a wastebasket, yet many of us have the dangerous habit of putting all sorts of things in our mouths without thinking of the consequences. From small toys to food items, everyday objects like coins and batteries and even medical equipment – we’ve heard about it all.

While most of these incidents are innocent enough, the reality is that swallowing foreign objects can pose a serious threat to our health. According to the National Safety Council, around 40,000 people in the United States are treated in emergency rooms for foreign body ingestion every year.

The Dangers of Swallowing Foreign Objects

Swallowing foreign objects can cause a range of complications, from minor digestive issues to life-threatening injuries.

In most cases, smaller objects tend to pass through the digestive system without causing significant harm. However, larger objects or those with sharp edges can cause blockages in the throat or intestines, leading to severe pain, nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms. In some cases, the object may perforate the stomach or intestines, causing dangerous internal bleeding.

Certain types of foreign objects, such as magnets or button batteries, can cause even more severe damage. For instance, if swallowed, two or more magnets can attract each other through the intestinal wall, causing a host of complications, including bowel obstruction, infection, and necrosis.

Button batteries, commonly found in electronic devices, are another dangerous swallow hazard. When swallowed, these batteries can get stuck in the esophagus and generate an electric current, which leads to tissue necrosis and corrosion. In some cases, button battery ingestion can result in life-threatening complications like esophageal perforation, vocal cord paralysis, and even death.

How to prevent accidents

The best way to prevent foreign body ingestion is to avoid putting foreign objects in your mouth, especially if they are small enough to be swallowed. Parents and caretakers should be vigilant when it comes to young children, who are more prone to swallowing small toys, jewelry, and household items.

If an object does get stuck in your throat, avoid trying to force it down by eating or drinking more. Instead, try coughing or, if necessary, perform the Heimlich maneuver. If the object is still lodged in your throat, seek medical attention immediately.

In the case of battery ingestion, urgent medical attention is critical, regardless of whether the person is experiencing symptoms or not. Call 911 or seek the help of an emergency health provider right away.

Call 2020 Vision in Rochester Hills MI

If you or someone you know has swallowed a foreign object or is experiencing symptoms related to foreign body ingestion, contact Dr. Dolan at 2020 Vision in Rochester Hills MI. Dr. Dolan can provide emergency eye care services for patients who have ingested foreign objects containing batteries or magnets. Call us at 248-375-0040 for immediate support. Remember, when it comes to foreign body ingestion, time is of the essence!

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *