February 1st, 2022
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Pediatric foreign body ingestion comes with a dichotomous presentation to the ED — the child in extremis with a clear need for immediate intervention vs. the well-appearing child with unknown ingestion. This creates a challenge for the emergency medicine provider to use a combination of history, physical examination, different imaging modalities, and overall clinical picture to verify ingestion over aspiration and, furthermore, to determine whether there is any need for immediate intervention. The decision-making tree surrounding foreign body ingestion changes based on time course, type of object, location in the gastrointestinal tract, and size. Therefore, a regimented and practical approach to foreign body ingestions is warranted.