Nuts and seed: A natural yet dangerous foreign body

ArticleinInternational journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology 76 Suppl 1:S49-52 · February 2012with9 Reads
Impact Factor: 1.19 · DOI: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2012.02.012 · Source: PubMed


    This paper has the object to present the impact of nuts' and seeds' injuries withdrawing data from the Susy Safe registry, highlighting that as for other foreign bodies the main item efficiently and substantially susceptible to changes to decrease the accidents' rates is the education of adults and children, that can be shared with parents both from pediatricians and general practitioners. Indeed labeling and age related warnings have also a fundamental relevance in prevention.
    The present study draws its data from the Susy Safe registry. Details on injuries are entered in the Susy Safe Web-registry through a standardized case report form, that includes information regarding: children age and gender, features of the object, circumstances of injury (presence of parents and activity) and hospitalization's details (lasting, complications and removal details). Cases are prospectively collected using the Susy Safe system from 06/2005; moreover, also information regarding past consecutive cases available in each centre adhering to the project have been entered in the Susy Safe registry.
    Nuts and seeds are one of the most common food item retrieved in foreign bodies injuries in children. In Susy Safe registry they represent the 38% in food group, and almost the 10% in general cases. Trachea, bronchi and lungs were the main location of FB's retrieval, showing an incidence of 68%. Hospitalization occurred in 83% of cases, showing the major frequency for foreign bodies located in trachea. This location was also the principal site of complications, with a frequency of 68%. There were no significant associations between these outcomes and the age class of the children. The most common complications seen (22.4%) was bronchitis, followed by pneumonia (19.7%). Adult presence was recorded as positive in 71.2% of cases, showing an association (p value 0.009) between the adult supervision and the hospitalization outcome. On the contrary there was a non significant association between adult presence and the occurrence of complications. In 80.7% of cases, the incident happened while the child was eating. Among those cases, 88.6% interested trachea, lungs and bronchi.
    Food-related aspiration injuries are common events for young children, particularly under 4 years of age, and may lead to severe complication. There is a need to study in more depth specific characteristics of foreign bodies associated with increased hazard, such as size, shape, hardness or firmness, lubricity, pliability and elasticity, in order to better identify risky foods, and more precisely described the pathogenetic pathway. Parents are not adequately conscious and aware toward this risk; therefore, the number and severity of the injuries could be reduced by educating parents and children. Information about food safety should be included in all visits to pediatricians in order to make parents able to understand, select, and identify key characteristics of hazardous foods and better control the hazard level of various foods. Finally, preventive measures including warning labels on high-risk foods could be implemented.