Airway foreign bodies in childhood

F Oğuz, A Citak, E Unüvar, M Sidal
International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology 2000 January 30, 52 (1): 11-6

OBJECTIVE: To define clinical spectrum of airway foreign body aspiration in children and to evaluate the outcome and complications.

METHODS: A total of 53 patients (27 girls, 26 boys) with a mean age of 30.0+/-32.7 months, who aspirated foreign bodies were treated with bronchoscopy were divided into two groups with respect to the time they were diagnosed as early (Group 1, n=22, </=24 h after aspiration) and late diagnosed group (Group 2, n24 h after aspiration). The two groups were followed up prospectively for complications.

RESULTS: A total of 72% of patients were under a 3-year age group. Choking episode history was reported in 32% of patients but when families were questioned about it more in detail the rate increased to 51%. Acute episode of choking seemed trivial most of the families. Cough (69.8%), decreased breath sounds (52.8%) and wheezing (45.1%) were predominant symptoms. Sunflower seed (32. 1%) and peanuts (15.1%) were noted as common aspirated materials. Air trapping (59%) and consolidation (47%) were the most frequent radiological findings especially in the late diagnosed group (P<0. 01). Patients who aspirated organic materials frequently developed pneumonia diagnosed in late period after aspiration.

CONCLUSION: Pediatricians must be conscious to check for foreign body aspiration who have sudden onset of cough and wheezing episode. In any suspicion, a bronchoscopy should be considered even if there is not any positive history for aspiration. Children should be followed up after bronchoscopy for complications.

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