What happens if you swallow a metal soda can tab?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question” what happens if you swallow a metal soda can tab?” with an in-depth analysis of health risks after swallowing a metal tab. Moreover, we are going to highlight the care advice and proper treatment of it.

What happens if you swallow a metal soda can tab?

If you swallow a metal soda can tab, it can cause injuries to the gastrointestinal tract, bleeding, and other serious problems. Sometimes surgery is required for its treatment. You can also face breathing problems, and vomiting. The presence of sharp edges on tabs becomes the reason for internal bleeding. 

When you swallow a metal tab, it goes into your body. It also goes into the gastrointestinal tract. The gastrointestinal tract contains acidity which dissolves some parts of metal in no time. And the piece which is not dissolved will be passed through.

Animals like domesticated fowl and fish have been known to die after swallowing metal tabs.

How dangerous is it to swallow a pop tab?

Anything which gets stuck in your esophagus and contains toxic materials, can cause a blockage or tear dangerously.

Swallowing a metal soda can tab is highly dangerous as it gets the thing out of you before it cuts your stomach or intestine. If you face loss of blood or infection, you can be dead. You should immediately go to your doctor for proper treatment.

How much time does it take to pass a metal soda can tab?

When you swallow a metal soda can tab it always makes a way to your stomach. If it is safely passed through your intestine, then it will be passed in a normal stool in 2 or 3 days. 

How can you know that something is stuck in your stomach?

If something gets stuck in your stomach, you will see some symptoms.

  • You feel pain or cramp in your abdomen
  • Abdominal swelling or bloating occurs
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Blood in the stool
  • You feel trouble while speaking
  • Difficulty in swallowing

The esophagus and trachea both are located side by side in the human body. If any foreign object gets stuck at the top of the esophagus , it also enters the trachea. If the object is large it can push the trachea from inside the esophagus, can block the way of airflow to the lungs. Some objects can be so dangerous that they can cut off airflow.

Anytime you feel that something is stuck in your throat and deep in the chest, so immediately seek medical care.

Care advice when you have swallowed a metal soda can tab:

What you should know about swallowed objects:

  • If the objects are small in size, they can easily pass without any problem in the stomach
  • This is common in children. If your child does not show any symptoms, then it means the object is in his stomach.
  • If any object is passed into the stomach, it can easily pass into the intestine.
  • If you are sure that object is stuck in your stomach then perform a swallow test.

Swallow test:

  • Drink some water to swallow 
  • If swallowed easily, eat some bread. When bread becomes hung up, the enzymes present in saliva can dissolve it.
  • If bread and water are swallowed safely, then a normal diet can be taken.

When to check stool for the object:

  • If the objects are small, then checking stools is not necessary. Small means it is less than ½ inch.
  • If the objects are large and have edges that are not smooth, then it is compulsory to check stools.

What you should expect about the swallowed object:

  • When you swallow a metal soda can tab it always makes a way to your stomach. If it is safely passed through your intestine, then it will be passed in a normal stool in 2 or 3 days. 

Diagnosis and treatment:

You have to seek medical care or visit the emergency room if you are feeling something in your stomach. Your medical evaluation will be performed. It includes some imaging tests like X-RAYS, CT-SCAN. It will confirm whether the object has been swallowed or not. It will tell the location of the object in your body. It will determine whether the object is causing any blockage or not.

Your doctor can also perform a procedure called esophagoscopy.

Here, you can find what happened to a 14-year-old baby when he accidentally swallowed a part of a metal tab and his treatment procedure.

Conclusion:

In this brief guide, we answered the question” what happens if you swallow a metal soda can tab?” with an in-depth analysis of symptoms after swallowing it. Moreover, we discussed the care advice and proper treatment for this.

Citations: 

https://www.seattlechildrens.org/conditions/a-z/swallowed-foreign-object/
https://www.verywellhealth.com/when-you-swallow-foreign-object-4105009
https://www.webmd.com/parenting/news/20091130/aluminum-can-tabs-may-still-pose-health-risks

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