Acta Med. 2011, 54: 91-93

Suicide Attempt by Swallowing Sponge or Pica Disorder: A Case Report

Vlasta Žganjera, Mirko Žganjerb, Ante Čizmićb, Anto Pajićb, Božidar Župančićb

aPfizer d.o.o., Radnička cesta 80, Zagreb, Croatia
bDepartment of Pediatric Surgery, Children’s Hospital Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

Received July 1, 2010
Accepted February 28, 2011

Introduction: There are many ways how children with mental illness have actually tried to hurt themselves. Suicidal thinking or attempts always indicate that professional help is needed (2). Every object which can be potential dangerous should be removed but this is very difficult to do. Some of children with these symptoms had Pica diseases. Pica is a medical disorder characterized by an appetite for substances largely non-nutritive (e.g. metal, coal, soil, feces, paper, soap, gum, etc.) or an abnormal appetite for some things that may be considered foods. Material and Methods: The patient swallow sponge from a pillow over a long period of time and she came into our hospital with abdominal pain. She was 16 years old and had abdominal distension, vomiting, abdominal cramping and failure to pass gas or stool. Immediately we suspected mechanical blockade of the intestine. Diagnosis was clinically confirmed by X-rays of the abdomen and with ultrasound. Results: The operative treatment was indicated and we found the proximal bowel distended and the distal segment collapsed. The part of bowel necrosis was removed and anastomosis was done. Conclusion: When patients are determined to attempt suicide or have Pica disorder it is very difficult to prevent.


12 live references