J Korean Soc Emerg Med.  2022 Feb;33(1):134-138.

Hazard of Orbeez water-absorbent beads causing infantile small bowel obstruction: a report of two Korean cases

Affiliations
  • 1Division of Pediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, Dongsan Medical Center, University of Keimyung College of Medicine, Daegu, Korea
  • 2Department of Emergency Medicine, Dongsan Medical Center, University of Keimyung College of Medicine, Daegu, Korea

Abstract

Orbeez is a small toy made of a highly expandable, which has recently become popular in Korea. These beads can expand to 100 times or more its volume when in contact with water and can also be expected to grow in size when ingested. We encountered two pediatric patients who swallowed Orbeez and developed small bowel obstruction. In the first case, surgery was performed without knowing that the small bowel obstruction was caused by Orbeez. In the second case, based on the experience gained from the first case, a detailed history was taken, including the possibility of Orbeez ingestion to determine the cause of the small bowel obstruction. We diagnosed the cause of the small bowel obstruction early, followed by rapid treatment. We recommend that emergency department physicians must consider Orbeez as the cause of small bowel obstruction in children.

Keyword

Emergency medicine; Intestinal obstruction; Foreign bodies; Child; Laparotomy
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