Intentional Ingestion of a Foreign Body – Why We Need Psychiatrists

Ashish Chauhan, Vishal Bodh, Rajesh Sharma, Brij Sharma


Foreign body ingestions are common medical emergencies. In adults, foreign body ingestions occur in patients with psychiatric disorders and prison inmates. A majority (80-90%) of foreign bodies pass spontaneously. Endoscopic and surgical interventions are required in only 10-20% and 1%, respectively. A plain radiograph may be the only diagnostic test required. A computed tomography scan may be needed when a perforation is suspected. Food boluses are the most commonly ingested foreign bodies. Snare and rat tooth forceps are frequently used accessories for the retrieval of foreign bodies. The focus of the emergency team is on the management of an acute case of foreign body ingestion, and the psychiatric aspect of the disease gets often ignored.


Intentional foreign body ingestion, Recurrent ingestion, Endoscopy, Psychosis, Schizophrenia

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