To the Editor.—The article by Campbell and Foley1 on removing blunt esophageal foreign bodies was provocative. The procedure described has inherent risks and limitations that the authors have failed to anticipate.
Young children can swallow more than one foreign body. Inserting a Foley catheter to remove a coin with another, unsuspected nonradiopaque foreign body could injure the esophagus. Also, the inflated Foley catheter will most likely displace the esophagotracheal wall.2 Any hesitation can cause airway obstruction, particularly in the pediatric patient; therefore, the radiology department would not be the best place to treat the potentially obstructed pediatric airway.
When removing esophageal foreign bodies, the physician should use some form of cardiac monitoring and assure an adequate airway. The potential need for an intravenous line and an anesthesiologist is also a vital safety consideration.3 The authors take none of these precautions in their method. Having resuscitation equipment
ZONAKIS PM. Foley Catheter Technique. Arch Otolaryngol. 1984;110(1):63. doi:10.1001/archotol.1984.00800270067017