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J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1977 Jul;74(1):145-51.

Inhalation of foreign bodies in children. Report of 500 cases.


Inhalation of foreign bodies is a major cause of accidental death during childhood. Aspiration of foreign bodies is common in children aged 1 to 3 years, especially in boys. A past history of foreign body aspiration is itself an indication for bronchoscopic examination of the airways, because some children with aspirated foreign bodies are without symptoms and chest x-ray films may not show abnormalities. Bronchoscopic removal of the foreign bodies requires close communication between the anesthesiologist and the endoscopist. Forgotten foreign bodies in the airways cause chronic pulmonary infections, allergic asthma, bronchiectatic changes, and lung abscess. Foreign bodies that cannot be grasped by bronchoscopic forceps should be removed by thoracotomy and bronchotomy. This report describes our experience in 500 children with suspected foreign body inhalation. We routinely use prednisolone, 1 to 2 mg. per kilogram, and nebulization just after bronchoscopic examination of the airways. This medication greatly diminishes the rate of postbronchoscopic complications such as laryngeal edema, which require tracheostomy. In our series of 500 case, the incidence of postbronchoscopic tracheostomy is 1.4 per cent and the total mortality rate is 1.8 per cent.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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