Airway Foreign Body in Children


Introduction: Foreign body aspiration is not uncommon in children. It can be associated with significant morbidity and mortality. This study aims to determine and analyze the characteristics of local pediatrics airway foreign body (FB) aspiration. Methods: A retrospective study of medical records from KK hospital (1997-2010) is done. Patient demographics, clinical/investigative findings, duration of hospitalization and complications are analyzed. Results: The sample consisted of 26 patients (eight months - 13 years of age), who underwent rigid bronchoscopy for FB removal over the last 13 years. Seventy-seven percent were three years of age or younger. Peak incidence (61.6%) was at one to two years of age. Nineteen were males and seven were females. The top three clinical presentations were: cough (61.5%), choking (46.2%) and wheezing (42.3%). Decreased air entry (34.6%), tachypnea (26.9%) and no significant findings (23.1%) were the most common features on physical examination. The most common radiographic findings were consolidation (30.8%), presence of a foreign body (23.1%) and no abnormality (23.1%). Aspiration was primarily into the right main bronchus (38.5%), and 61.5% of the FB was organic in nature [principally peanuts (38.5%)]. Mean hospitalization duration was three days. Delayed diagnose in three cases were secondary to mis-diagnoses as croup (n = two) and respiratory tract infection (n = one). Complications were noted in eight cases (30.8%). There was no mortality. Conclusion: High index of suspicion is required in diagnosing airway FB. Physician’s diagnostic acumen is vital in prompt successful treatment. Heightening public’s awareness is the key to prevention of pediatrics FB aspiration.

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H. Chew and H. Tan, "Airway Foreign Body in Children," International Journal of Clinical Medicine, Vol. 3 No. 7, 2012, pp. 655-660. doi: 10.4236/ijcm.2012.37117.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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