Figures A, B, and C track the course of a 1½-inch tack traversing the GI tract of a 2-year-old. With the exception of straight pins, sharp foreign bodies increase the complication rate associated with ingestions from less than 1% to about 25%. Straight pins usually follow a benign course, unless multiple pins have been ingested.
In this patient's case, serial abdominal radiographs followed the tack along a predictable path. It was expelled with no complications within 24 hours.
(Case and radiographs courtesy of John Harrington, MD, of New York Medical College and Maria Fareri Children's Hospital in Valhalla, NY.)