10 Most Common Reasons for an ER Visit


Foreign Objects in the Body

ERs around the world aren't spared from bizarre cases in which patients end up with foreign objects such as coins inside their bodies.

Though there's little data on how often doctors encounter foreign objects, we're more likely to hear about them. The outlook for the patient depends on the object and whether it can be removed or passed. According to one medical source, small objects passing through the upper intestinal tract have a 90 percent chance of moving through, while those larger than 2 centimeters (about .78 inches) in diameter have a smaller chance [source: Munter]. Another analysis shows that roughly 1,500 deaths per year result in foreign object complications [source: Chen and Beierle].

In some cases, patients may also come in with a food item or foreign objects stuck in their esophagus as a result of choking [source: WebMD].

And it's not unheard of for inmates or drug smugglers to try to hide objects in their body' cavities, either [source: Munter]. Items can also be intentionally inserted into the body for sexual stimulation and can get stuck [source: Barone et al.].

Our last reason patients visit the ER occurs in most people. Can you guess what it is?