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Swallowed a coin. Stools show no sign of coin. What should I do?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1995
Answered : 4036 Questions
My 16 month old daughter may have swallowed a coin 48 hours ago. I have been watching her stools and have yet to see the coin. Should I take her in? She had a hard time pooping today but finally was able to go. She is acting normal but her belly is hard.
Posted Sat, 16 Jun 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Pragnesh Vachharajani 1 hour later

Thanks for posting your query.

I can appreciate your concern.

I do not think that this is something serious at present.

Most swallowed foreign bodies pass harmlessly through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

As it is almost 2 days by now, it should have reached stomach and beyond.

Normally it should pass in 2-4 days.

In case of apprehension, what can be suggested is x XXXXXXX of chest and abdomen to locate the coin. This will confirm the diagnosis and location of coin if inside.

Location will give us idea of its migration and possible time to get expelled. Once it has reached certain level we can be sure that it will pass.

Please discuss this with your doctor.

Please be watchful for following:
1. Pain in abdomen
2. Vomiting

In such case you need to visit your doctor early.

I hope this helps.

Wishing her good health.

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