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Paediatr Respir Rev. 2002 Dec;3(4):303-7.

Foreign body aspiration in children.

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Rua Henrique Scliar, 225 Porto Alegre, Brazil.


Foreign body aspiration is a common accident in children and represents an important cause of morbidity and mortality. Diagnosis of this condition demands a high degree of suspicion since physical examination and basic radiology exams have low sensitivity. It is more frequent in children younger than 3 years of age, predominantly boys. Food materials are most commonly involved, particularly peanuts, although this could change according to regional feeding habits. The right main bronchus is the site where foreign bodies are most commonly found. Radiographical findings are not diagnostic, but the presence of unilateral obstructive emphysema or atelectasis are important clues. A rigid endoscopy is indicated whenever there is a suggestive history, since delays in removing foreign bodies can lead to severe bronchial sequelae. In developing countries this type of accident may be more relevant due to the lack of resources and awareness, which can lead to late diagnosis and treatment. Routine preventive measures must be taught to caregivers in order to reduce the incidence. Health care professionals should also be made more aware of the prevalence of this condition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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