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Chapter: Medical Surgical Nursing: Management of Patients With Oral and Esophageal Disorders

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Foreign Bodies - Disorders of the Esophagus

Many swallowed foreign bodies pass through the gastrointestinal tract without the need for medical intervention.

FOREIGN BODIES

 

Many swallowed foreign bodies pass through the gastrointestinal tract without the need for medical intervention. However, some swallowed foreign bodies (eg, dentures, fish bones, pins, small bat-teries, items containing mercury or lead) may injure the esophagus or obstruct its lumen and must be removed. Pain and dysphagia may be present, and dyspnea may occur as a result of pressure on the trachea. The foreign body may be identified by x-ray film. Per-foration may have occurred (see earlier discussion).

 

Glucagon, because of its relaxing effect on the esophageal muscle, may be injected intramuscularly. An endoscope (with a covered hood or overtube) may be used to remove the impacting food or object from the esophagus. A mixture consisting of sodium bicarbonate and tartaric acid may be used to increase in-traluminal pressure by the formation of a gas. Caution must be used with this treatment because there is risk of perforation.

 

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