What wake up if friend swallow a toothpick? Is it dangerous? Emergency room medical professional Dr. Troy Madsen speak you if this is a problem serious sufficient for the ER.

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Apr 16, 2014


Interviewer: Is it negative enough to go to the emergency room, or isn"t it? uncover out now. This is "E.R. Or Not?" ~ above The Scope. Time for another episode that "E.R. Or Not?" wherein you do the contact of even if it is or not you have to go come the E.R. And also then we"ll uncover out the definitive answer indigenous Dr. Troy Madsen, emergency medication at university of altoalsimce.org Hospital. Today"s E.R. Or not, a many of people like come hang about with toothpicks hanging the end of your mouth, old ranchers, truck drivers, what happens if friend swallow a toothpick? E.R. Or not?

Dr. Madsen: I would certainly say E.R.

Interviewer: Really?

Dr. Madsen: and also the reason for this is you deserve to think of this sorts of points in two different categories, therefore we"re talking around things that you by chance swallow, in some situations I"ve checked out where these things have been purposely swallowed but that"s sort of a different problem entirely.

Interviewer: Okay.

Dr. Madsen: but either this things room going to it is in too big to be able to pass through your intestines, or they"re walk to it is in sharp and also potentially perforate the intestines.

Interviewer: Okay.

Dr. Madsen: Both the those room problems.

Interviewer: Okay.

Dr. Madsen: therefore if it"s miscellaneous that"s too large and obviously that"s no an worry with a toothpick, this isn"t something that is yes, really big, that should have the ability to pass without any kind of issues, but the problem is the it"s really sharp, therefore if we"re talking around sharp things, and also you know one that the huge notorious things we check out in youngsters that"s an extremely concerning is sewing needles, so sort of think the a toothpick like a sewing needle. Then you think the the intestines, as soon as it gets past the stomach it"s functioning it"s method through and the intestines are really long and it"s gained a long method to travel, and they"re very thin, so if it"s something that"s spicy it could potentially come up versus the edge and also push v that and also perforate it.

Interviewer: Really.

Dr. Madsen: and the factor that"s a difficulty is because you have all sorts of bacteria in the intestines. And also the moment that bacteria gets into the abdomen itself, that have the right to be a really serious thing and also cause some really serious infections.

Interviewer: So currently a most times after friend chew ~ above a toothpick because that a lengthy time they sort of start transforming soft, that wouldn"t in her stomach gain soft and dissolve away?

Dr. Madsen: Yeah, and again it"s a hard one. This is yes, really . . . You gave me a difficult one here. You yes, really made me think about this because you"re right. There are various scenarios wherein you may have kind that chewed top top the toothpick and also maybe bitten it and in that instance it"s more than likely kind that chewed up and kind the macerated whereby it"s walking to occupational it"s means through without an issue, however if it"s something where you"ve gained a spicy object that is walking to remain sharp, in her intestines and also potentially perforate it, that"s the problem. And so the reason I type of say the is it"s probably worth coming to the E.R., absolutely if you"re talking around a plastic sort of toothpick or also anything that"s much more firm, that"s not going to dissolve easily.

Interviewer: Yeah, they have actually some the those brand-new plastic toothpicks now and those could poke.

Dr. Madsen: Those definitely could and also so I would certainly say absolutely there. The wood one is a tiny bit an ext of a gray zone but I say pertained to the E.R. Since it"s worth evaluating and talk to our G.I. Doctors, our specialists to check out what their thoughts space on that.

Interviewer: Sure, since otherwise it can be serious.

Dr. Madsen: It could be and that"s type of weighing the danger benefit. It can potentially be a serious thing. If it"s too long to pass, it"s no going to go through, and the method we think of points that space too lengthy or also wide, if it"s much longer than say around 5", this is a pencil you"ve swallowed and also we have seen people who have actually swallowed pencils and they have been intentional-kind the interesting-that"s no going come pass. And also if it"s more comprehensive than about 2", therefore it"s something, probably it"s not 5" long but it"s wider than 2", that"s no going come pass, not going to acquire past the stomach.

Interviewer: What"s the concern there then, if it gets stuck up in there?

Dr. Madsen: for this reason if it gets stuck and it"s appropriate up there in the stomach, nothing"s walking to gain through. So you"re walking to gain to a suggest where you"re drinking water and also that can not even have the ability to work it"s method around eventually. The bottom line there is it"s not going out, so it needs to be miscellaneous that has to come out from above, for this reason you have to get a G.I. Physician in to walk down v a scope, traction that thing out and remove the from above.

Interviewer: Is that just how a toothpick would be gotten rid of as well?

Dr. Madsen: it is.

Interviewer: So girlfriend don"t have actually to acquire operated on, it"s actually simply removed v the throat?

Dr. Madsen: that is.

Interviewer: all right.

Dr. Madsen: Yeah, they"re going to go down the esophagus and into the stomach, find it, pull it out.

Interviewer: If ns swallowed something and it"s blocking ingredient up, what does that feel favor then?

Dr. Madsen: all right. Therefore if friend swallow something, you deserve to feel it. And also a many of human being will come in and . . . Sort of the thing we view there an ext is people more after lock swallow a piece of meat there is no chewing the completely, you simply feel a fullness in your throat and also a most times world can allude to precisely where the is. They deserve to feel it upper throat, their lower throat or type of down near the stomach, and also often time they cannot swallow anything. They will simply be sitting there with a cup spitting the end their saliva, as they cannot in reality swallow it. If they shot to it simply comes right earlier up.

Interviewer: What if it provides it to the stomach and it"s impede that?

Dr. Madsen: You"re commonly not going to have actually a lot of of indicators there till it"s relatively progressed. So ns would intend if it were blocking the stomach, you can not feeling it. You"re most likely going come feel some discomfort in there yet probably after ~ you start to eat and also if you"ve to be eating a kind amount the food, you have the right to just feel favor it"s simply not relocating anywhere, similar to a rock in your stomach.

Interviewer: would certainly your body ultimately throw up that food?

Dr. Madsen: Exactly. If you get sufficient in there, it"s just going to construct up and also eventually it"s simply going to get full and it"s simply going to come right back up.

Interviewer: So dominance of thumb, if girlfriend swallow something, width, length, what do I look the end for?

Dr. Madsen: so in terms of width and also length, think much longer than around 5" or more comprehensive than around 2", and that"s sort of just a general rule of thumb. And also then if it"s other that"s sharp that can potentially cause a perforation in the intestines, that"s worrying as well. And also certainly v these, if you"re not sure what come do, err top top the side of caution, pertained to the emergency department and then us can help make proper decisions and also get our specialist involved as well.

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Interviewer: We"re your day-to-day dose the science, conversation and also medicine. This is The Scope, university of altoalsimce.org health Sciences Radio.