Oct 7, 2016

Interview Transcript

Announcer: Is it bad enough to go to the emergency room or isn't it? You're listening to "ER or Not" on The Scope.

Interviewer: Time for another edition of "ER or Not" today. Your kid got a raisin stuck up their nose. Is that a reason to go to the ER to help get out of there? Doctor Troy Mattson is an emergency room physician with the University of Utah Health Care. Raisin up the nose, ER or not?

Dr. Madsen: Okay. I'm going to tell you something really gross here.

Interviewer: Okay.

Dr. Madsen: It's something you can try to home to avoid the ER and avoid the urgent care if you are brave. If you're the mother of this child that stuck a raisin up their nose, one trick you can do, and again avoid the ER, avoid urgent care entirely, it's actually to take your child, put your mouth on their mouth, almost like you're giving mouth to mouth, blow into their mouth, and with a little bit of force, it will then . . . the child will react by kind of closing off their airway, that air will go up into their nasal passages and blow the raisin out, probably onto your face.

Interviewer: Really?

Dr. Madsen: Along with some mucus, but that's a little trick. So this is one of those things you can go to the ER if you want. What it would mean in the ER as we would take a look up there. Try to find this raisin. Look up there with the light, sometimes have to use something to open up the nostril little bit, reach up there with some forceps and pull the raisin out. But if you're brave, that's a trick you can try at home. Actually blowing in your child's mouth and then being brave and knowing that you're going to get some mucus and a raisin on your face.

Interviewer: This sounds a little sketchy. Is this actually supported by research? This is an okay way to do it?

Dr. Madsen: This is supported in medical textbooks and in the medical literature.

Interviewer: Is it really?

Dr. Madsen: Yeah, it's actually something that is recommended if a parent wants to try it when they bring a child, a young child to the ER.

Interviewer: Well, that's one of the first things you'll recommend they try?

Dr. Madsen: I'll put it out there if they want to. I can't honestly say I've ever done it. Again, I've read it in textbooks and it has been recommended, but it's a trick. If I had a young child, I would probably try that before going to the ER.

Interviewer: It'd be fascinating to talk to somebody who's actually tried that.

Dr. Madsen: Yeah.

Interviewer: So would that work with most things that have been stuck up the nose? At least as something to try first?

Dr. Madsen: It's not unreasonable to try. I wouldn't put a lot of effort into it. You don't want to be fighting with your child there and causing them a lot of discomfort with this, but . . .

Interviewer: It can't really hurt them.

Dr. Madsen: It really can't hurt them. Essentially, you're just blowing in their mouth.

Interviewer: Sure, yeah.

Dr. Madsen: With a little bit of force, blowing in there like you were giving mouth to mouth, and then their natural reaction will be to kind of shut off their airway as that air is coming in. It might expand their lungs a little bit, but then it does force that air up into their nose, and then the air going through there is going to . . . If that thing can come out with that, it's going to come out with that force.

Interviewer: Are we talking about like fast or like a good, sustained, hard pressure blow?

Dr. Madsen: We're talking about something fast.

Interviewer: Okay.

Dr. Madsen: So basically a fast blow.

Interviewer: So a lot of pressure, a lot of pressure, really quick.

Dr. Madsen: Yeah, a lot of pressure, really quick.

Interviewer: A lot of velocity.

Dr. Madsen: Yeah, exactly.

Interviewer: Yeah, right on out.

Dr. Madsen: Bing. Right on out.

Interviewer: All right.

Dr. Madsen: Your mouth is over their mouth like you're giving mouth to mouth. Their nose obviously is open. You're blowing right into their mouth, just that force can sometimes do the trick.

Interviewer: All right. So go ahead and try that first, and then if that doesn't work, urgent care?

Dr. Madsen: You could try an urgent care. They very well may send you to the ER. I just don't know if they're going to have the equipment there to really search for this thing. And sometimes if this is buried really deep in the nose, it may require a specialist, an ear, nose and throat doctor to go searching up there for this.

Interviewer: Could it work up further while you're doing all these types of things?

Dr. Madsen: Technically, if you're blowing in their mouth, it shouldn't. It's really . . .

Interviewer: Like Utah to the urgent care, you have taken 45 minutes and then they say, "I better go to the ER," could it work up and become a worse problem?

Dr. Madsen: It possibly could if the . . . especially if the kids in discomfort, and they're kind of sucking up in their nose, and that kind of thing. They're crying and sniffling and sucking, I don't know. Trying to think . . . I guess potentially, it could.

Interviewer: Okay.

Dr. Madsen: Again, it's one of those things you can always start with the urgent care, but I won't be surprised if they then send you to the ER just because they don't have the tools there or because it needs a specialist to take a look at this.

Interviewer: So the answer is that it depends how brave you are.

Dr. Madsen: It depends how brave you are. You're going to avoid a visit altogether. Don't do it if you feel at all uncomfortable doing that, but if you want to give it a try, again, it's supported in medical textbooks. It's recommended to give it a shot. No harm in really trying it.

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