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July 1988

Bronchoscopy for Aspirated Foreign Bodies in Children: Experience in 131 Cases

Author Affiliations

From the Section of Pediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, and the James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis.

Arch Surg. 1988;123(7):885-888. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1988.01400310099017

• One hundred thirty-one children underwent rigid bronchoscopy under general anesthesia for suspected aspirated foreign bodies. There were 79 boys and 52 girls, with a mean age of 2.1 years. Physical examination showed decreased breath sounds (n=130) and wheezing (n=119) over the affected site. Chest roentgenograms were diagnostic or suggestive of aspirated foreign bodies in 127 cases (97%). Radiopaque lesions were noted on roentgenograms in ten cases. Four infants had a preoperative hypoxic arrest. Two patients had negative results of bronchoscopy (1.5%). Extraction of the aspirated foreign body was carried out at laryngoscopy in two patients and by forceps under direct vision at bronchoscopy in 97 patients. A Fogarty catheter was used in 12 cases. Postendoscopic complications included fever (n=27), pulmonary infiltrate (n = 11), ventilatory support (n = 4), and pneumothorax (n=2). Rigid bronchoscopy for aspirated foreign body in children is a safe, effective, and sometimes life-saving procedure. Morbidity is low and mortality is zero.

(Arch Surg 1988;123:885-888)