Airway foreign bodies in children: Experience of 132 cases

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Pt BD Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Rohtak, Haryana, India.
Singapore medical journal (Impact Factor: 0.6). 10/2007; 48(9):850-3.
Source: PubMed


Foreign body inhalation in children is not uncommon, and may escape notice by the parents as well as the physicians, because of the lack of knowledge of the exact history and inconclusive radiographical findings.
A retrospective analysis of airway foreign bodies in 132 children (80 males and 52 females) over a period of 20 years was conducted. Rigid bronchoscopy under general anaesthesia was done in 129 cases.
The majority of patients (46 percent) were younger than three years of age. Duration of symptoms varied from less than six hours to three months. Definitive history of foreign body inhalation or sudden choking episodes were present in 71 children. The foreign body was successfully removed in 93.2 percent of the cases. Peanuts were the commonest foreign body. Foreign bodies were found in the right main bronchus in 62 cases, in the left main bronchus in 46 cases, and at vocal cord level in 7 cases. Chest radiographs were normal in 46 cases.
Rigid bronchoscopy usually gives good results in detecting airway foreign bodies. It should be performed at the earliest opportunity even when the definitive history is not forthcoming and the chest radiograph is inconclusive.

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