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Keywords:

  • coin;
  • foreign body;
  • poison control center;
  • pediatrics;
  • home observation;
  • safety

Objectives: To obtain preliminary estimates of the acceptance rate and the frequency of adverse outcomes, and to identify issues related to acceptance, associated with management of asymptomatic pediatric coin ingestion by home observation, in preparation for a large-scale prospective study. Methods: Scripted telephone follow-up of callers who had reported asymptomatic pediatric coin ingestions to one of five poison control centers six to 36 months previously, which had been managed by home observation. Results: Of the 67 callers enrolled, 41 (67%) reported contacting a physician regarding the coin ingestion, despite home observation instruction by poison control center personnel. Those who did not recall being instructed in home observation were more likely to have contacted a physician than those who did. Nearly all, however, were satisfied with the advice they had been given. One child developed subsequent symptoms; as per the instructions that had been given by poison control center personnel, his parent sought physician evaluation, revealing an esophageal coin, which was removed uneventfully. No other child developed complications. Conclusions: Although all of the 67 children managed by home observation did well, most of their caretakers had not accepted this management strategy. Acceptance, while unrelated to satisfaction, may be related to comprehension of the instructions caregivers are given. A prospective study of home observation for asymptomatic pediatric coin ingestion would be safe and would allow further examination of factors affecting acceptance.