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Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2010 Dec;267(12):1957-62. doi: 10.1007/s00405-010-1295-y. Epub 2010 Jun 8.

Headscarf pin, a sharp foreign body aspiration with particular clinical characteristics.

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Cardiothoracic Surgery Department, Tanta University Hospital, Tanta, 31111, Egypt.


The process of wearing head scarf is very complex; girls used to hold a number of pins in the mouth and utilize them one by one to fix the scarf. Loss of concentration results in pin aspiration. We presented our experience with scarf pin aspiration and discussed the unique clinical characteristics of this problem. We reviewed the records of 73 patients who underwent bronchoscopy for scarf pin inhalation during the period from January 1995 to May 2009. The following data were collected, history of aspiration, time lag before presentation, symptoms and signs, radiological findings, bronchoscopic findings, number of repeated bronchoscopy, complications, need for thoracotomy and time of discharge. All patients were female, mean age 13.4 years. The time lag before admission was <12 h for 59 (81%) patients. Positive history was present in all cases. Chest radiography identified the pins in all cases. The foreign bodies were seen in the left bronchial system in 37 (50.7%) patients, in the right bronchial system in another 24 (32.9%), and in the trachea in 12 (16.4%) patients. In 66 (90.4%) patients, the foreign body was removed in the first bronchoscopic trial; a second trial was needed in 5 (6.8%) patients, and thoracotomy was performed in two patients. In conclusion, head scarf pin aspiration occurs in adolescent Islamic girls. The clinical presentation and radiological findings are diagnostic in all cases. Rigid bronchoscopy is the preferred treatment modality. Health education is the key issue in the prevention of this problem.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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