Johnny where are my keys?

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A mother brings her 2 year old into the emergency department.

“I’ve lost my house key and can’t get into the house. Johnny was playing with it. I wonder if there is any way he could have swallowed it?”

Any comments on how to manage?

Pretty much leave well enough alone. If the child is asymptomatic and the item has passed by the oesophagus. It will usually pass. If the object is in the oesophagus, or has passed the oesophagus but is something potentially dangerous, such as a item containing lead, or the child has abdominal pain, or passes or vomits blood, endoscopy is then needed.

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Dr Peter Kas

Emergency Physician, Educator. Key Interests: Resuscitation, Airway, Emergency Cardiology, Clinical Examination. Creator

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