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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2000 Jun 30;53(2):143-8.

Bronchoscopy for foreign body removal in children. A review and analysis of 210 cases.

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Department of Otolaryngology, University of Crete School of Medicine, Heraklion, Greece.



A foreign body aspiration in the tracheobronchial tree is a dangerous and common medical emergency in childhood, with serious and potentially lethal consequences. It must be suspected in children with a suggestive history, even though the clinical symptoms or radiographic findings are not pathognomonic for foreign body aspiration.


In this study 210 pediatric cases, with a suggestive history of foreign body aspiration undergoing bronchoscopy in the last 8 years in the department, were reviewed. In all cases bronchoscopy was performed under general anesthesia using a Storz ventilation bronchoscope with distal cold light illumination.


In 130 patients a foreign body was discovered, in 17 cases pus was aspirated and in 63 cases there were no findings. Seventy-eight (60%) foreign bodies were found in the right main bronchus, 43 (33.1%) in left main bronchus, seven (5.4%) in both bronchi and two (1.5%) were found in the subglottic area. The incidence of bronchoscopy during the last 8 years was 28 procedures per 100000 children population per year in the island of Crete.


More attention should be given to the need for a careful history and the use of radiographs as supplemental information to make the decision to perform a bronchoscopy. The parents, also, should pay attention not to allow children dry fruits and small toys, as well as, teaching their children to avoid any physical or emotional activity while having a full mouth.

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