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May 2, 1977

"Pop Top" Ingestion: A Technique for Localization

JAMA. 1977;237(18):1928. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270450018005

To the Editor.—  Beverage cans with pull-tabs ("pop tops") were introduced as soft drink and beer containers in the mid-1960s. Many people have become accustomed to putting the pop top into the can after opening as an assurance of disposal when the can is emptied. This particular practice is widespread, and the potential medical hazards involved with the inadvertent ingestion or aspiration have been described.1,2The use of x-ray, ultrasound, and gas contrast x-ray have been variously reported3,4 in an attempt to localize the pop top.A simple technique that requires no special equipment or invasion of body integrity was used in the following case with excellent results.

Report of a Case.—  A 20-year-old man arrived at the emergency room with the chief complaint of a pop top stuck in his throat. He had ingested two sandwiches and two cans of beer, and reported that the pop top,