Intentional foreign object ingestions: Need for endoscopy and surgery

Document Type


Publication Title

Journal of Surgical Research


Background: Intentional ingestion of foreign objects (IIFO) is common in the incarcerated population. This study was undertaken in order to better define clinical patterns of IIFO among prisoners. We sought to determine factors associated with the need for endoscopic and surgical therapy for IIFO. Methods: After obtaining permission to conduct IIFO research in incarcerated populations, study patients were identified by ICD-9 codes. Patient charts were reviewed for demographics; past medical history; IIFO characteristics; and diagnostic, endoscopic, and surgical findings. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed using statistical software. Results: Thirty patients with 141 episodes of IIFO were identified. The mean number of ingested items per episode was 4.60. Endoscopy was performed in 97 of 141 IIFO instances, with failure to retrieve the ingested object in 21 of 97 cases (22%). Eleven instances (7.8%) required surgical intervention. On multivariate analyses, hospital admission was associated with elevated white blood cell count (odds ratio [OR] 1.4, P < 0.05) and number of items ingested (OR 1.3, P < 0.05). The need for endoscopy was independently associated with ingestion of multiple objects (OR 3.3, P < 0.05) and elevated white blood cell count (OR 1.3, P < 0.05). Surgical therapy was significantly associated with elevated white blood cell count (OR 1.6, P < 0.01) and with increasing number of ingested items (OR 1.07 per item, P < 0.05). Endoscopy is associated with significantly lower odds of surgery (OR 0.13, P < 0.01). Conclusions: Intentional ingestion of foreign objects continues to pose a significant human and economic burden. The need for admission or therapy is frequently associated with leukocytosis. Further investigation is warranted into resource-appropriate triage of patients who present with IIFO. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

First Page


Last Page




Publication Date


This document is currently not available here.