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An Esp Pediatr. 1996 Oct;45(4):365-8.

[Tracheobronchial aspiration of foreign bodies in children].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Urgencias de Pediatría, S. Cirugía Infantil, Hospital Infantil de Cruces, Baracaldo, Vizcaya.



Our objective was to study the characteristics and follow-up of children admitted to our Pediatric Emergency Room (PER) due to tracheobronchial inhalation of foreign bodies (FB).


We have reviewed retrospectively the 55 cases admitted over the last five years to our PER in whom the diagnosis of FB inhalation was confirmed.


Mean age was 4 years with the peak incidence (25) occurring between 1 and 2 years of age. The second risk group was 11 years (8). In 84% of the patients (46), there was a history of FB aspiration. Twenty-five percent of the children (14) presented at the hospital within 24 hours, and 18% (10) more than 1 week after inhaling the FB. Physical examination was normal in 5%. The X-ray findings were: air trapping (74%), atelectasis (13%), in cases admitted more than 1 week after aspiration, and were normal in 13%. Rigid bronchoscopy and subsequent removal of the FB was the treatment instituted in 53 cases. There were no deaths. The FB was located at the right bronchus in 67%. The ingestion of nuts accounted for the highest incidence (72%), occurring mainly in younger children. Inorganic bodies constituted the majority of the cases in children older than 9 years (p = 0.0000).


1. Tracheobronquial inhalation of FB continues to not alarm the general population since only 25% presented at the hospital within 24 hours. 2. There are two risk groups, the second year of life (the largest) and the eleventh year, and they are different in the type of FB inhaled. 3. It is necessary to keep insisting on the methods of prevention.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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