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Life threatening airway obstruction: a hazard of concealed eating disorders.
  1. T M Jones,
  2. L C Luke
  1. Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Royal Liverpool University Hospital.


    The ingestion of unusual objects is not uncommon in florid mental illness. Less common is the accidental ingestion of a foreign body which has been used to induce vomiting. A case is reported of complete dysphagia that resulted from impaction of a plastic fork in the hypopharynx. The patient had been attempting to induce vomiting and, as a result of the presentation, was found to be suffering from a previously concealed eating disorder (bulimia). Self induced vomiting is one criterion for the diagnosis of bulimia and a review of the literature indicates that accidental ingestion of large foreign bodies is an increasingly familiar hazard of occult bulimia.

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