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Foreign body ingestion trends in children in the Daegu-Kyungpook Province, Korea before and during the COVID-19 period: a repeated cross-sectional study

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Affiliated Author(s)
장효정
Alternative Author(s)
Jang, Hyo Jeong
Journal Title
Transl Pediatr
ISSN
2224-4344
Issued Date
2023
Keyword
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)emergency medicineforeign bodiespediatrics
Abstract
Background:
During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) period, children spent more time at home, which is where most foreign body ingestions (FBIs) in children occur. We compared the rate of FBI in children in the Daegu-Kyungpook Province during COVID-19 to the rate in the 2 years before the COVID-19 period.

Methods:
The period from January to December in the year 2020 was defined as the COVID-19 period, and the corresponding time period in 2018 and 2019 was defined as the pre-COVID-19 period. Medical records were analyzed retrospectively for pediatric patients aged 0-15 years who visited outpatient and emergency rooms at seven tertiary referral hospitals in Daegu-Kyungpook Province.

Results:
The annual occurrence rate of FBIs in patients visiting seven tertiary referral hospitals was not different during COVID-19 compared to that in the pre-COVID-19 period and the median age of these patients during the COVID-19 and pre-COVID-19 periods was similar. However, occurrence rates increased in the groups aged 0-3 and 4-6 years but decreased in the group aged 7-15 years during the COVID-19 period. The proportion of male patients as well as inpatients increased significantly during the COVID-19 period (both P=0.01). The proportion of foreign bodies located in the post-pyloric region increased during the COVID-19 period (P=0.02). The most common symptom, foreign body sensation in the neck, was similar in both groups. There was no significant difference in the foreign body removal method between the two groups. The occurrence rates of swallowing of toys, coins, magnets, button batteries, and superabsorbent polymers non-significantly increased; and the food ingestion rate decreased, while the non-food ingestion rate increased in all age groups during the COVID-19 period.

Conclusions:
The FBI rate in children did not differ during the COVID-19 period compared to that in the pre-COVID-19 period. The occurrence of FBI in boys, the number of foreign bodies located in the post-pyloric region, and the number of hospitalizations due to FBI increased during the COVID-19 period.
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