[Ingestion of foreign bodies containing lead]

An Pediatr (Barc). 2005 Nov;63(5):453-6. doi: 10.1157/13080413.
[Article in Spanish]


Ingestion of a foreign body containing lead in children carries the additional risk of acute lead poisoning secondary to dissolution and absorption of the ingested lead in the acid environment of the stomach. We report the case of a 3-year-old girl who ingested a lead sinker. The patient was asymptomatic but therapy with a proton pump inhibitor (omeprazole) was empirically started on admission and the foreign body was removed from the stomach by emergency endoscopy within 6 hours of ingestion. Despite the quick removal, blood lead levels (drawn 3 hours after ingestion) exceeded 40 .g/dl. The patient completely recovered and continues to do well after 1 year of follow-up. This case reveals that acute elevations of blood lead concentrations may occur rapidly after ingestion of lead foreign bodies. Even in the absence of symptoms, lead foreign body ingestion in children should prompt lead screening and initiation of appropriate treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Child, Preschool
  • Deglutition*
  • Female
  • Foreign Bodies / diagnostic imaging*
  • Foreign Bodies / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Lead Poisoning*
  • Radiography