Injuries

Foreign Object and Splinter Removal

If you’ve ever gotten a splinter or had sand in your eye, you’ve had experience with a foreign body. A foreign body is something that is stuck inside you but isn’t supposed to be there. You may inhale or swallow a foreign body, or you may get one from an injury to almost any part of your body. Foreign bodies are more common in small children, who sometimes stick things in their mouths, ears, and noses.

Some foreign bodies, like a small splinter, do not cause serious harm. Inhaled or swallowed foreign bodies may cause choking or bowel obstruction and may require medical care.

Foreign body retrieval involves the removal of potentially dangerous objects or substances in the body that have been introduced from the outside.

Foreign bodies are potentially dangerous objects or substances in the body that have been introduced from the outside. They can be inhaled into the airway or swallowed and enter the esophagus and stomach either accidentally or intentionally, or introduced into the soft tissues. Commonly swallowed objects include coins, buttons, pins, nails, glass pieces, toothpicks, batteries, small toys or pieces of toys and fish bones.

Children account for about 80 percent of foreign body ingestions. Sometimes problems occur when button batteries are swallowed; magnetic toys can obstruct the bowel when they stick together and mercury within the batteries may seep out.

Foreign bodies in the throat or stomach:

Some ingested foreign bodies cause no symptoms. Alternatively, you may experience a sensation of something being stuck in your throat or esophagus. Drooling and difficulty swallowing are common symptoms. A small sharp object may become lodged in the esophagus and cause pain, even though you are able to swallow. Larger foreign bodies can partially or completely obstruct the stomach, the small intestine or, in rare cases, the large intestine, causing cramps, bloating, loss of appetite, vomiting, and sometimes fever. A sharp object that pierces the stomach or intestines can cause severe abdominal pain, fever, fainting and shock.

Foreign bodies in the airway:

Most foreign bodies in the airway are usually expelled through coughing. However, some foreign bodies may move from the throat into the bronchial branches. This can cause the patient to cough, but the foreign body remains trapped in the lung. This typically occurs in children and requires removal by bronchoscopy.

Foreign bodies in the soft tissues:

A soft tissue foreign body is an outside object like a splinter, rock or piece of metal that gets embedded in the tissue under the skin. Soft tissue foreign bodies can cause infection and damage to surrounding tissues.

Our medical staff at Gonzaba Urgent Care is dedicated to provide you the best care for your medical needs. For more information about foreign body removal, please contact Gonzaba Urgent Care (210)921-6600.

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