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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2007 May;71(5):769-73. Epub 2007 Mar 6.

Scarf pins sharp metallic tracheobronchial foreign bodies: presentation and management.

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ORL Department, Menoufiyia University Hospital, Shebin Elkom, Egypt.



Scarf pin inhalation is a cultural hazard in the Middle East young girls. So the aim of this work is to study the presentation of inhaled sharp airway foreign bodies (AFB) and its management.


Clinical and radiological presentation of inhaled sharp AFB was studied prospectively in 20 young females. All the sharp pins was extracted using rigid bronchoscopes with grasping forceps in 11 and magnetic extractor in 9.


The most common presentation after inhalation was penetration syndrome (70%) (sudden onset of chocking and intractable cough). The distribution of AFBs was more significantly in the proximal 90% than the distal (p<0.05). It was significantly more in the left side (65%) than in the right side bronchial tree (5%) (p<0.05). The delay in diagnosis ranged from 6h to 1 week, with no complications on extraction.


Scarf pins aspiration in females can be mainly presented with penetration syndrome. The site at presentation is mainly in left main bronchus. Early intervention, using rigid bronchoscopes with extraction using grasping forceps or magnetic extractor allowed easy and safe removal. Careful handling of these potentially sharp objects away from the mouth can prevent this critical problem.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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