What is included in the prehospital care of pediatric foreign body ingestion?

Updated: Oct 04, 2018
  • Author: Gregory P Conners, MD, MPH, MBA, FAAP, FACEP; Chief Editor: Dale W Steele, MD, MS  more...
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  • Most children who have swallowed a foreign body do not require specialized care. For the large majority, providing comfort care while transporting to an emergency department is all that is required.

  • Patients with drooling may require suction.

  • Children benefit by being allowed to remain with their parents and being allowed to assume a position of comfort.

  • Although a theoretical risk of spontaneously vomiting and then aspiration of a foreign body exists, this is unusual. Children should not routinely be intubated to protect their airways.

  • Similarly, do not attempt to dislodge a foreign body from a spontaneously breathing patient by giving abdominal thrusts or syrup of ipecac.

  • If available, discussions regarding management of unusual foreign bodies with the local poison control center may be helpful.

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