Did You Know?!
In the European Union each year, an estimated 50,000 children (14 years or younger) have a choking episode.[Ref:34]
Coins are the most common foreign body requiring removal under general anaesthesia. When an xray suggests that an esophageal foreign body is a coin, it is essential to verify that the foreign body is not a disc battery (which would burn the esophagus). Occasionally, a toddler will swallow more than one coin, as the last xray demonstrates.
A coin rarely causes airway obstruction; but when it does, the obstruction can be severe.
Coins (and other esophageal foreign bodies) usually lodge just below the upper esophageal sphincter (a.k.a. the cricopharyngeus muscle).