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J Emerg Med. 1998 Jan-Feb;16(1):21-6.

Foreign body ingestions in the Emergency Department: case reports and review of treatment.

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Department of Emergency Medicine and Clinical Toxicology, UT Medical Group, Memphis, Tennessee 38103, USA.


We report a series of alleged ingestions of razor blades and other metal objects by prisoners presenting to an inner city Emergency Department. Fourteen claims of ingestions of razor blades or other metal objects involving eight prisoners occurred in a 5-week period. The motives behind the ingestions varied. Auditory hallucination was the most common reason given for the ingestions. Other motives included efforts to leave prison, depression, and accidental razor blade swallowing. Attempts were made in all patients to verify ingestions by radiograph. Some ingestions could not be confirmed by radiograph and were considered to be factitious. Only 1 of the 14 incidents resulted in hospital admission. All others were either treated in the Emergency Department or the patient was returned to jail with no treatment. No patient had a poor clinical outcome as a result of the ingestion, indicating that diagnostic radiographs and invasive procedures may not always be necessary. A review of treatment of foreign body ingestions is given as well as a summary of the treatment and outcome of these cases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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