Pathway for the Evaluation/Treatment of the Child with Foreign Body Ingestion


If the ingestion is suspected to be intentional with the goal of self-harm (e.g. patient had suicidal ideation before swallowing object), then please also place the patient on the ED Behavioral Health pathway. Initiate consults to Social Work and Psychiatry.

Foreign Bodies

1 Critical 2 Acute 3 Urgent 4 Urgent 5 Non-Urgent
  • Drooling and/or Stridor
  • Hemodynamic Instability
  • Suspected disc (button) battery in any orifice
  • Dysphagia

  • Wheezing

  • Tachypnea

  • Retractions
  • Nasal flaring
  • Unequal breath sounds
  • Decreased breath sounds
  • Tachycardia
  • Chest pain
  • Hx:  significant choking with cyanosis

  • Possible swallowed foreign body

  • Vomiting

  • Rectal or vaginal foreign bodies without suspicion of abuse

  • Ear, nose foreign body

  • Hx:  significant choking episode with symptoms now at baseline