Clinical Practice and Cases in Emergency Medicine (Nov 2020)

A Case Report Highlighting That Silica Gel Products Are Not Always Benign

  • Nolan Lassiter,
  • Nhia Yang,
  • Lakshma Tiyyagura,
  • K. Scott Whitlow

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 4, no. 4


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Introduction: Silica gel packets are commonly used desiccants for medication products; these packets generally only pose a choking risk in young children. However, new cylindrical desiccant canisters have been developed, which may increase the risk for obstruction in adults. Case Report: An elderly male presented to the emergency department complaining of difficulty swallowing after taking his morning medications. Through a diligent work-up a desiccant canister was found lodged in the lower esophageal sphincter. The patient was endotracheally intubated and a Roth Net retriever was used to remove the canister. Conclusion: Cylindrical desiccant canisters pose an increased risk of esophageal obstruction.