Objective: Injury due to foreign body (FB) aspiration and/or ingestion is a common and serious pediatric emergency. Foreign body injury (FBI) most commonly occurs in children younger than 6 years, and the incidence of FBI has increased in recent years. The aim of the present study was to evaluate and compare the characteristics of FBI due to ingestion and aspiration.
Methods: Data from patients who were hospitalized for FB ingestion and/or aspiration and underwent rigid bronchoscopy and esophagoscopy from 2008 to 2011 were retrospectively evaluated. Foreign body in the upper aerodigestive tract was evaluated with respect to the characteristics of patients, clinical presentation, management strategy, the outcome, and features of FB.
Results: A total of 192 patients admitted for FB ingestion or aspiration in the pediatric surgery department were evaluated. The mean age was 40.97 (SD, 35.73) months. The majority of patients were younger than 4 years. Foreign bodies were mainly located in the upper esophagus for ingested FBs (60.8%), whereas for aspiration 43% of FBs were in the main right bronchus. A total of 4 patients died. The hospitalization period of patients admitted for FB aspiration was longer than that of patients with FB ingestion. Surgery was performed in 4 patients. The most commonly ingested FBs were coins, whereas seeds were the most commonly aspirated.
Conclusion: Prevention is the key to dealing with FBIs. Because the frequency of foreign bodies is higher in underdeveloped countries, education of parents regarding the dangers and prevention of aspiration and ingestion is important.