PHT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Swallowed coin. Coloured X-ray of a coin (orange) in a child's oesophagus. The heart (blue, centre), ribcage (upper centre) and abdominal region (blue, lower centre) are all seen. The treatment for a swallowed object depends on whether the object can safely pass forwards or backwards through the alimentary canal. If an object reaches the stomach without causing problems, it can usually be left in the body to be passed in the stools, which will need to be checked. In more serious cases, with abdominal pains and bloody stools, hospital monitoring is required and surgery to remove the object may be necessary.
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