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Pediatrics. 2006 Oct;118(4):e1284-6.

The toothbrush: a rare but potentially life-threatening cause of penetrating oropharyngeal trauma in children.

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Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan.


We present the case of a 10-year-old girl with pharyngeal injury caused by a toothbrush, the snapped head of which lodged in her upper oropharyngeal wall. Initial examination of the oral cavity did not reveal bleeding, a foreign body, or a wound. Nasopharyngoscopy showed lodgment of the toothbrush piece in the upper oropharynx, pulsating in synchrony with heartbeats. Computed tomography showed the toothbrush head near the carotid artery. The foreign body was surgically removed without any intraoperative or postoperative complications. The diagnosis and management of oropharyngeal injuries by stick-like foreign bodies, such as a toothbrush or chopsticks, are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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