Published On: Sun, Jul 6th, 2014

Eight Foreign bodies Removed from Infant’s Esophagus

Eight Foreign bodies Removed from Infant’s Esophagus


Specialists extracted 8 various foreign bodies from the esophagues of a 14-month-old infant who arrived in severe respiratory distress. The delicate endoscopic procedure was conducted by combined teams from the Institute of Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Liver Diseases and the Otolaryngology Unit. Among the items extracted were pumpkin seeds, orange pits, humous balls and various sized pebbles.

The infant was born with a congenital defect where the esophagus was not connected to the stomach. Following his birth, he underwent emergency surgery to connect the esophagus to the throat to prevent him from choking on his spittle. While awaiting surgery to further repair the esophagus, which was scheduled to commence after he had grown and gained more weight, he was fed via a nutritional tube directly into his stomach.

His mother brought him to Schneider Children’s when she noticed that he was choking and there was a foreign body peeking out of his stoma (the exit draining the infant’s swallowed spittle). The infant was transferred immediately to surgery where, to the astonishment of the team headed by Dr. Yoram Stern, Director of the Upper Respiratory Airways Unit at Schneider Children’s, and Dr. Noam Zevitt, senior physician in the Institute of Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Liver Diseases at Schneider Children’s, 8 foreign bodies were found in the walls of theinfant’s esophagus. All 8 items were successfully removed with forceps inserted via the endoscope, after which the infant recovered and was discharged.

Drs. Stern and Zevitt reiterated a warning to parents that “even though this was a rare case due to the child’s congenital defect, it is important to remember that food particles and tiny parts of games, although harmless in themselves, can cause significant damage to infants and small children. We appeal to parents to supervise their children at all times and to stop them from putting small items in their mouths which can be swallowed or inhaled into the lungs and cause a life-threatening situation.”


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