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Management of an Ingested Foreign Body in a COVID-Positive Patient.

Anesthesia Progress 2023 December 2
This case report describes a 51-year-old man who swallowed an amalgam fragment dislodged during dental treatment performed without a throat screen. The patient was transferred to the emergency department, where the foreign body was confirmed to be in the esophagus following radiographic imaging. Foreign body removal from the esophagus is routinely achieved via esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD). However, this incident occurred in September 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the patient's preoperative positive COVID-19 test, the option for EGD retrieval was eliminated per hospital protocol. Instead, a noninvasive approach with serial radiographic monitoring was deemed mandatory to observe the fragment as it passed through the gastrointestinal tract, warranted by the small size of the foreign body and the patient's lack of signs and symptoms of respiratory distress. This case report reinforces the importance of using airway protection during every dental procedure. Furthermore, reevaluation of EGD as the gold standard for treatment of ingested small materials may be warranted.

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