Spring Holiday Season: Olympus Reminds Families of Swallowing Hazards

MedTech Leader Warns Parents about Increased Risk of Kids Swallowing Small Items During Holiday Mishaps

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., (March 21, 2024) – Olympus Corporation, a global medical technology company committed to making people’s lives healthier, safer and more fulfilling, is reminding families about the common swallowing hazards that could be hiding in their child’s Easter basket, on their Passover dinner plate, or among their Eid al-Fitr celebrations.

Accidental ingestion of foreign bodies accounted for 483,703 ER visits among all age groups in 2021i, and it is the fifth leading cause of calls to poison control centers for those under the age of 5.ii During the Spring holiday season, children are often gifted small items such as battery-powered toys and trinkets, containing button batteries. Also, during Easter, Passover, and Eid al-Fitr, families gather to share and eat foods, such as candy, chicken, hardboiled eggs, matzoh and pot roast, that can all pose choking hazards.

Among these hazards, swallowing the button batteries is the most challenging as it is not always easy to tell when a child has swallowed a button battery. Not only is it challenging, swallowing a button battery can cause extreme harm, such as esophageal burns. Doctors advise parents who suspect their child has swallowed a button battery to go straight to the emergency room.iii

When ingestion is confirmed, emergency treatment with devices that can remove the swallowed item is necessary. Olympus offers physicians a full line of reusable and single-use foreign body retrieval devices, including retrieval baskets and grasping forceps available in a wide range of designs and sizes for small airways.

“Accidental ingestion of a foreign body, especially in young children, is a terrifying experience for parents,” said Tony Sullivan, Executive Director for Core GI Marketing at Olympus Corporation of the Americas. “Unfortunately, it does happen, and according to recent research, it’s happening more frequently, which is why it is important that physicians have the tools they need to find and retrieve foreign objects inside the human body.”iv

Children are not the only ones who may fall victim to swallowing and choking hazards. Overeating or eating too quickly during the holidays is another time foreign body retrieval equipment is frequently used.

Esophageal food bolus or foreign body impaction is a common gastrointestinal emergency. Items involved include sharp pointed objects, such as fish and chicken bones; short blunt objects; and boluses of boneless meat – common items on the table during the holidays.v To address these emergencies, Olympus distributes the eSuction single-use foreign body retrieval devices, intended to be used in the endoscopic retrieval of food bolus impactions, foreign bodies, and excised tissue.

Safe Kids Worldwide provides a button battery tip card for parents and caregivers.

Visit the Foreign Body Retrieval Devices and eSuction pages for more information about the Olympus product portfolio.

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About Olympus
At Olympus, we are committed to our purpose of making people’s lives healthier, safer and more fulfilling. As a global medical technology company, we partner with healthcare professionals striving to provide best-in-class solutions and services for early detection, diagnosis and minimally invasive treatment, aiming to improve patient outcomes by elevating the standard of care in targeted disease states.

For more than 100 years, Olympus has pursued a goal of contributing to society by producing products designed with the purpose of delivering optimal outcomes for its customers around the world. For more information, visit medical.olympusamerica.com.

i Criner GJ, Delage A, Voelker K, et al. Improving Lung Function in Severe Heterogenous Emphysema with the Spiration Valve System (EMPROVE): A Multicenter, Open-Label, Randomized, Controlled Trial. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2019;200(11):1354-1362. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201902-0383OC.

i WISQARS Leading Causes of Nonfatal Injury. Wisquars.CDC.gov. https://wisqars.cdc.gov/lcnf/. Accessed March 19, 2024.

ii Gummin DD, Mowry JB, Beuhler MC, Spyker DA, Rivers LJ, Feldman R, Brown K, Nathaniel PTP, Bronstein AC, Weber JA. 2021 Annual Report of the National Poison Data System© (NPDS) from America's Poison Centers: 39th Annual Report. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2022 Dec;60(12):1381-1643. doi: 10.1080/15563650.2022.2132768. PMID: 36602072.

iii Dangers of Button Batteries and Kids. HopkinsHealth.org. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/dangers-of-button-batteries-and-kids. Published October 11, 2021. Accessed March 11, 2024.

iv Chandler MD, Ilyas K, Jatana KR, Smith GA, McKenzie LB, MacKay JM. Pediatric Battery-Related Emergency Department Visits in the United States: 2010-2019. Pediatrics. 2022 Sep 1;150(3):e2022056709. doi: 10.1542/peds.2022-056709. PMID: 36032018.

v Negoita LM, Ghenea CS, Constantinescu G, Sandru V, Stan-Ilie M, Plotogea O-M, Shamim U, Dumbrava BF, Mihaila M. Esophageal Food Impaction and Foreign Object Ingestion in Gastrointestinal Tract: A Review of Clinical and Endoscopic Management. Gastroenterology Insights. 2023; 14(1):131-143. https://doi.org/10.3390/gastroent14010010