This study was undertaken to document the aerodigestive
tract foreign body
accidents among children, and to investigate the circumstances surrounding these events.
A review of the charts of pediatric patients admitted with the definitive or suspicious diagnosis of aerodigestive
tract foreign bodies was carried out in the period between January 1, 1998 to December 31, 2002.
There were 53 eligible children; 39 boys and 14 girls, with an age range of 7 months to 14 years. Food items were the most common airway foreign bodies and coins were the most common esophageal foreign bodies. Among the 32 patients who underwent bronchoscopy, no foreign body
was identified in 9 patients. Among the 21 patients who underwent esophagoscopy, foreign body
was removed in 19 patients. In 2 cases, large foreign bodies which we could not extract with forceps were pushed into the stomach.
Foreign bodies in the airway and esophagus constitute a constant hazard in all age groups, which demands immediate approach and management. Although the rigid endoscopic removal of aerodigestive
foreign bodies was successful in this series, the most effective treatment of foreign body
accidents is their prevention.