Health Questions and Answers

Question: What is the immediate concern or threat to life in a patient with an esophageal foreign body?

Answer:

  1. To ensure that the airway is clear and that the foreign body is not in the upper airway or trachea
  2. To rule out esophageal perforation, which is evidenced by presence of fever, subcutaneous air, severe chest pain on physical examination, pneumomediastinum on chest x-ray, or soft tissue air  on neck films.

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