Restaurant Patron Suffers Esophageal Damage After Swallowing Foreign Object

    Gastroenterology ExpertThis case involves a patron at a restaurant who swallowed a foreign object that accidentally fell into her food. As per the medical records, the patient suffered damage to her esophageal lining, including soft tissue tears along the lining and comorbid infections. An expert in food impactions was sought to discuss the role foreign objects can play in mechanical damage to the esophageal lining and likelihood of such objects precipitating long-term complications.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Please describe your experience as it pertains to upper and lower GI conditions?
    • 2. Have you performed procedural interventions (upper endoscopy, sigmoid-/colonoscopy)? Please explain.
    • 3. Have you ever had a patient develop the complications noted above?

    Expert Witness Response E-077724

    I have 30 years of experience routinely performing upper endoscopies and colonoscopies. I have lectured on foreign bodies and food impactions, and treat such cases fairly frequently. The food impaction patients that I see are primarily individuals who develop meat impactions in the esophagus. Some have pathology in the esophagus that is responsible. Foreign body ingestions usually occur in incarcerated individuals who intentionally ingest dangerous objects in order to have a break from prison routine. Our institution has a contract with the Department of Corrections to assist it in dealing with all their GI problems, including foreign body ingestions. We also have a fair number of psychiatric cases who ingest foreign bodies as suicidal gestures or attempts. I have also published papers on the removal of difficult foreign bodies in the GI tract. I have had patients who have developed mucosal tears of the esophagus, but none have had serious or long-lasting complications.

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