[Foreign body aspiration: an urgent airway condition]

Burak Karabulut, Kadir Serkan Orhan, Murat Ulusan, Bora Başaran, Kemal Değer
Kulak Burun Boğaz Ihtisas Dergisi: KBB, Journal of Ear, Nose, and Throat 2014, 24 (5): 283-6

OBJECTIVES: This study aims to investigate demographic features, type and localization of foreign bodies, mean hospitalization duration, and peri- and postoperative complication ratios of patients with foreign body aspiration.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Seventy patients (23 males, 47 females; mean age 32±14.5 months; range 3 months to 10 years) who were diagnosed with foreign body aspiration in our clinic between January 2007 and August 2010, and performed rigid bronchoscopy under general anesthesia were included in this study.

RESULTS: Main findings were cough, wheezing, and witnessed aspiration. No foreign body was detected in 14 patients (20%). Foreign bodies in 56 patients (80%) were successfully removed. Foreign bodies were located in the left bronchial tree in 23 patients (41%), right bronchial tree in 18 patients (32%), trachea in four patients (7%), bilateral bronchial tree in three patients (5%), carina in two patients (3%), subglottic region in two patients (3%), pyriform sinus in two patients (2%), laryngeal ventricle in one patient (1.7%), and right vocal cord in one patient (1.7%). Foreign bodies were hard-shelled nuts in 23 patients (41%), beans in 14 patients (25%), plastic materials in 11 patients (19%), and other bodies in eight patients (14%).

CONCLUSION: Foreign body aspiration is a risky condition particularly for children under the age of four. Bronchoscopy is still the most commonly used and reliable diagnosis and treatment method. Foreign body aspiration should be kept in mind in children with persistent cough, wheezing, and unilateral pulmonary findings in radiologic imaging.

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