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October 1977

Foreign Body in the AirwaysA Review of 90 Cases

Arch Otolaryngol. 1977;103(10):570-573. doi:10.1001/archotol.1977.00780270038002

• Despite the progress made in the fields of endoscopy and anesthesia for children, as well as the accumulated experience, the inhalation of foreign bodies remains a serious and often dramatic problem. Every case varies to some extent, and only general conclusions may be drawn.

The retroactive analysis of the documents from every case that was treated at the Ear, Nose, and Throat Clinic of the Aristotelian University from 1970 to 1975, as well as the comparative statistical study, show common characteristics shared by all 90 cases under consideration. In these cases, the foreign body was of organic origin (mainly seeds and dry fruits) and particularly pumpkin seeds (25% of all cases). Half of the patients sought hospitalization, with a delay varying from two days to four months, while localization varied (larynx, 11 cases; trachea, 10; bronchus, 69). Localization in the left bronchus was more frequent than in the right one, especially in children.

The diagnosis was based on the case history, clinical examination, and radiologic findings, while in the majority of the cases, the treatment involved bronchoscopy, the removal of the foreign body, and treatment of lung problems in delayed cases.

(Arch Otolaryngol 103:570-573, 1977)