Suggest treatment for accidental consumption of glass

I found smal shards of glass in pumpkin bars. What should I watch for?

Ate very small amount thinking the crunch was the nuts.

Brief Answer:

Please watch for pain and changes in stool color.

Detailed Answer:


Thanks for writing in to us.

I have read through your query in detail.

Glass is not digested and passes through the stomach and bowels unchanged. The effect of ingesting shards of glass depends on the number, size and sharpness of the shards. Small pieces can pass through the stomach and bowel without any problems or complications and are ejected out as feces in a day or two.

Sharper pieces of glass fragments might rarely cause damage because they get mixed with other foods and do not stand a chance to injure the bowel. Small splinters or spikes can cause bowel perforation but the chances are less and most of the time even if it happens, the bowel perforation gets sealed by itself. There can also be bleeding in the stools and this is seen as discoloration black stools. Serious bleeding in stools is a concern but a rare occurrence.

You should be watching for any pain in the abdomen and stools which are unusually dark or black in color.

Though the usual treatment is to wait and watch, it is better to see a doctor and explain in details on the number and approximate size of the shards. This will help them decide if a X ray is required fearing any complications.

Hope this answers your question. Please feel free to correct any oversight in my interpretation of your problems and discuss them in detail as per your requirements.

Hope your query is answered.

Do write back if you have any doubts.



Above answer was peer-reviewed by


Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

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