Clin Exp Emerg Med.  2020 Dec;7(4):330-333. 10.15441/ceem.20.041.

A case of ingested water beads diagnosed with point-of-care ultrasound

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea
  • 2Department of Emergency Medicine, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea


A previously healthy 12-month-old girl presented to the emergency department with vomiting of water beads (superabsorbent polymer). The girl did not have clinical or radiographic signs of residual foreign bodies or intestinal obstruction. Point-of-care ultrasound showed well-demarcated, round, and hypoechoic materials in the stomach and first part of the duodenum, indicating ingested beads. Subsequently, the beads were retrieved by the esophagogastroduodenoscopy. Because water beads can be readily found with point-of-care ultrasound, the use of this imaging modality can expedite endoscopic intervention and avoid surgical removal of foreign bodies.


Endoscopes, gastrointestinal; Foreign bodies; Infant; Point-of-care systems; Ultrasonography
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