Pediatr Emerg Med J.  2019 Dec;6(2):86-91. 10.22470/pemj.2019.00115.

Small bowel obstruction by water beads in a 12-month-old girl presenting with acute hyponatremia with seizure

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, Korea. sunjun@jbnu.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Surgery, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, Korea.

Abstract

Although foreign body ingestion is relatively common in children aged 6 months-3 years, small bowel obstruction rarely develops, and few cases require surgical interventions. We report a case of 12-month-old girl who presented to the emergency department with new-onset seizure after projectile bilious vomiting. The initial diagnosis was seizure caused by hyponatremia based on laboratory findings, plain abdominal radiograph, brain magnetic resonance imaging, and electroencephalography. Despite fluid resuscitation, clinical manifestations did not improve, and severe ileal obstruction was found on computed tomography. Emergency laparoscopy showed a foreign body (a water bead [superabsorbent polymer], 3 cm in diameter) that was subsequently removed by enterotomy. After the surgery, bilious vomiting continued, and gastrografin did not pass on fluoroscopy. The second laparoscopy showed a residual foreign body that was crushed and then removed by minimal enterotomy. She was discharged in good condition 5 days after the second surgery. This case suggests a particular danger of water beads as foreign bodies and the need for differential diagnosis of multiple foreign bodies in children with poor communication skills.

Keyword

Foreign Bodies; Hyponatremia; Intestinal Obstruction; Laparoscopy; Seizures

MeSH Terms

Brain
Child
Diagnosis
Diagnosis, Differential
Diatrizoate Meglumine
Eating
Electroencephalography
Emergencies
Emergency Service, Hospital
Female*
Fluoroscopy
Foreign Bodies
Humans
Hyponatremia*
Infant*
Intestinal Obstruction
Laparoscopy
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Resuscitation
Seizures*
Vomiting
Water*
Diatrizoate Meglumine
Water
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