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Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Caustic ingestion should always be thoroughly investigated.

Management features include:

  • supportive measures such as intravenous fluids and oxygen or ventilation if there are any features of compromise
  • chest radiology to assess any aspiration
  • oesophagoscopy is indicated urgently - in the first 24 hours after ingestion
  • if the oesophagoscopy confirms that it is safe to do so a nasogastric tube can be passed

If the damage to the oesophagus is severe oesophagectomy may be indicated, with gastrostomy or jejunostomy formation.

Pneumonitis or mediastinitis should be treated with intravenous antibiotics.

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