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Role of plain radiography in the assessment of ingested foreign bodies in the pediatric patients.

Ingestion of various types of foreign bodies (FBs) such as coins, toy parts, jewelry pieces, needles and pins, fish and chicken bones, and button-type batteries is common among children. The curiosity of children and their need to investigate the world around them place them at a higher risk for ingestion of FBs. Fortunately, 80%-90% of ingested foreign objects that reach the stomach will pass uneventfully without intervention. The remainder may become blocked in the esophagus or other region of the alimentary tract, placing the pediatric patient at risk of significant complications such as aspiration, obstruction, bleeding, perforation, fistulization, sepsis, and death. The goals of the initial pediatric patient assessment are to identify the type of object ingested, its location in the gastrointestinal tract, and the presence of associated complications. Factors reported to increase the risk of complications included a sharp FB, a FB with a wide diameter, and symptoms. Plain radiographs still play an important role in the assessment of ingested FBs in the pediatric patient: plain films of the neck, chest, and abdomen are very useful in confirming the diagnosis of FB ingestion because most ingested FBs are radiopaque.

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