• Vol. 36 No. 3, 206–207
  • 15 March 2007

A New Method for the Removal of Safety Pins Ingested by Children



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Introduction: Foreign body ingestion is a common problem in children. Safety pin ingestion is common in Turkey. We describe a new method of removal for safety pins in our 2 cases. Clinical Picture: A 9-month-old girl and a 6-month-old boy had each ingested a safety pin. Abdominal X-rays detected the safety pins in their stomachs. At the end of 3 months, the foreign bodies still remained in their stomachs and laparotomy was indicated. Treatment and Outcome: This technique consists of a limited midline upper laparotomy with vertical incision. Without the utilisation of a gastrotomy, an orogastric tube was inserted into the stomach and the open end of the safety pin was pinned to the tube from outside the stomach. The orogastric tube was gently pulled out to remove the safety pin. Conclusion: This method provides shorter hospitalisation time and fewer complications.

Foreign body ingestion is a relatively common problem, with an estimated incidence of 120 per 1 million population, resulting in approximately 1500 deaths each year. Toddlers form the most vulnerable group. Swallowed objects may be true foreign bodies such as coins, plastic toys, bones, pins and disc batteries.1,2 The type of foreign body and its clinical presentation vary in people of different ages and culture and require special management.3

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