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Swallowed plastic pill blister packs are dangerous

August 12, 2016

Short Attention Span Summary

What’s a press-through package sheet?
It takes a lot for surgeons to operate on a foreign body ingestion.  The chance of causing harm in surgery is often greater than the benefit for the patient.  Press-through package sheets may be a more dangerous problem though.  Press-through package sheets (PTPS) are plastic pill blister packs with paper or foil sealing in the pill.  Most often, it is elderly patients who accidentally munch these.  This is a case report of a 12 year old with ingestion of one that became lodged in the lower esophagus, was missed on plain x-ray, and only found using CT.  This is just a FYI article.  I wasn’t aware of the potential danger of PTPS.

Spoon Feed
Don’t eat these.

CHOP has an excellent pediatric foreign body ingestion pathway on their website.


Pediatr Emerg Care. 2016 Jun 21. [Epub ahead of print]

Effective Use of Computed Tomography for Detection of Press-Through-Package Sheet Ingestion in a Pediatric Patient.

Takeuchi I1, Ito TIto YUematsu SMisato MOono MTsuji SSakai H.

Author information:

1From the *Department of General Pediatrics and Interdisciplinary Medicine, †Division of Emergency Service and Transport Medicine, and ‡Division of Surgery, Department of Surgical Subspecialties, National Center for Child Health and Development, Tokyo, Japan.


Press-through-package sheet (PTPS) ingestion can cause perforation of gastrointestinal tract. Such incidents, which require immediate medical attention, are often observed in elderly people. In this report, we describe the case of a 12-year-old patient who ingested PTPS. The patient, who has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, presented with abdominal pain at our hospital. While it was not revealed by a chest x-ray, computed tomography scan showed a PTPS lodged in his lower esophagus. The ingested PTPS was removed by endoscopy without complications. Press-through-package sheets ingestion can occur in pediatric patients, and computed tomography scan is useful in the diagnosis.

PMID: 27331579 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

One thought on “Swallowed plastic pill blister packs are dangerous

  • Hi I have I’ll foil from a pill packet is Wedged in my upper part of my throat how can I get that out without going to emergency

What are your thoughts?