A five-year-old boy from the US state of Ohio was hospitalized after eating dozens of chewing gums. The leftover sweets formed a bezoar in his stomach. Scientists described the case of a small patient in the journal “JEM Reports”, indicating that a quick diagnosis is important in a similar situation.
A five-year-old boy was rushed to the hospital’s emergency department after complaining of abdominal pain and diarrhoea. According to the patient’s mother, he ate a whole package of about 40 chewing gums. “He chewed one piece, then swallowed it, then chewed and swallowed another piece until the pack of gum ran out” – indicated American scientists: Chizite Iheonunekwu, Calvin Jackson, Kara Weichler, Erin L. Simon and oscar N. Emihe in a report published in the journal “JEM Reports”.
Eaten gum formed a bezoar, which is a foreign body in the stomach, formed as a result of swallowing various non-digestible materials. Its movement to further sections of the digestive tract is difficult or impossible. Computed tomography showed that the bezoar occupied about 25 percent. boy’s stomach. The operation to remove the foreign body was successful, the patient complained only of “sore throat” and was discharged home soon after.
Bezoars – what to keep in mind
The five-year-old was treated endoscopically because the doctors felt that the insertion of the probe would be safe in this case. The authors of the JEM Reports report described in detail a number of methods to be followed in the event of a bezoar, noting that rapid diagnosis is important. Without it, the patient may experience severe symptoms, then surgery may be necessary.
– Often the presence of bezoar in the stomach does not cause any symptoms – emphasizes prof. dr hab. med. Krzysztof Marlicz in the Medycyna Praktyczna portal – Sometimes patients complain of epigastric pain, feeling of satiety, nausea, sometimes weight loss – he added, noting that in the event of the above symptoms, you should seek medical advice from your family doctor.
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