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Is Xray a normal protocol for children who swallow coins?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 14690 Questions
My granddaughter , 3yrs old swallowed a coin 5 days ago. She was just exrayed and tech confirmed size of a nickel. And Dr wants to xray agin in 2 weeks. Is this normal protocol for children who swallow coins? What about radiation from xray and then another one 2 weeks later?
Posted Tue, 18 Mar 2014 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 27 minutes later
Brief Answer: depends on if it passes Detailed Answer: HI, thanks for using healthcare magic The treatment would depend on where the nickel was seen. If it is still within the esophagus then this is the reason that he or she may want to repeat the xray because it should be gone from this point after 5 days. Most objects pass easily from through the intestines once they have reached the stomach. Normally objects that are not too long (less than 6 cm in length) or too wide (less than 2 cm in width) can easily pass through the sphincter in the stomach (this is at the lower end of the stomach and leads to the intestines). Once they pass from the stomach they would passed in the stool. It would be best to monitor her stool , if she passes the coin prior to the 2 weeks then the x ray is not needed but normally it should pass out within 3 to 4 days. If she does not pass out the coin then the imaging is needed to determine what is happening and to assess for any problems. There is a risk related to repeated xray exposure but this is more likely with children who have to get numerous repeat x rays or high radiation imaging such as CT scans. I hope this helps,feel free to ask any other questions
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Follow-up: Is Xray a normal protocol for children who swallow coins? 1 hour later
The dr said it was in her intstines it passed her stomach. So u r saying dhe should pass it and to monitor her bowels. Thank you.
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 3 hours later
Brief Answer: would be excreted Detailed Answer: Hi Yes, normally it would show up in the faeces soon. Please feel free to ask anything else
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