A foreign body lodged in the esophagus may prove quickly

fatal from hemorrhage due to perforation of a large vessel; from

asphyxia by pressure on the trachea; or from perforation and

septic mediastinitis. Slower fatalities may result from suppuration

extending to the trachea or bronchi with consequent edema and

asphyxia. Sooner or later, if not removed, the foreign body causes

death. It may be tolerated for a long period of time, causing abscess,

cervical cellulitis, fistulous tracts, and ultimately extreme stenosis

from cicatricial contraction. Perichondritis of the laryngeal or

tracheal cartilages may follow, and result in laryngeal stenosis

requiring tracheotomy. The damage produced by the foreign body is

often much less than that caused by blind and ill-advised attempts at

removal. If the foreign body becomes dislodged and moves downward, the

danger of intestinal perforation is encountered. The prognosis,

therefore, must be guarded so long as the intruder remains in the


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