Objective: There are few reports in the medical literature describing removal of a coin from the upper esophageal tract of a child by an emergency physician. However, given the nature of their training and practice, emergency physicians are well suited to perform this common procedure. We describe our experience with this procedure. Methods: This was a retrospective review of a continuous quality improvement data set from a university-based tertiary care pediatric emergency department between Nov. 1, 2003, and Mar. 31, 2004. Results: Thirteen children, with a median age of 20 months, underwent rapid sequence intubation and had coins successfully removed from their upper esophageal tract by emergency physicians. In 10 cases, the coin was visible at laryngoscopy and removed with Magill forceps. In 3 cases this approach failed and a Foley catheter was used to remove the coin. One child suffered a tonsillar abrasion and two sustained minor lip trauma, but all were extubated and discharged home from the emergency department with no significant complications. Eleven of the 13 patients were successfully followed up, and the parents reported no problems. Conclusions: This pilot study suggests that the removal of a coin from the upper esophageal tract by an emergency physician can be both safe and effective. A larger study is needed before this procedure can be generally recommended.
- Foreign body