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Aerodigestive tract foreign bodies: an experience at a teritiary-care hospital

Showkat A Showkat, Nazia Mehfooz, Zafarullah Beigh, Omar M Shafi, Suhail A Patigaroo, Rauf Ahmad.

Background: Foreign bodies (FBs) in aerodigestive tract are a common concern for all ENT surgeons and chest physicians. While FBs in air passage are commonly seen in younger children, FB in food passage is encountered in children and adults alike. Foreign body is ingested accidentally but occasionally homicidal or suicidal. This study is about the experience of aerodigestive FBs at a tertiary-care hospital.

Objective: To reveal our experience of aerodigestive FBs in terms of (i) age/sex distribution of aerodigestive FBs; (ii) site of impaction/nature of aerodigestive foreign bodies; and (iii) different procedures done for aerodigestive foreign bodies.

Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective study done in the Department of ENT and Head and Neck surgery and Department of Chest Medicine In this study, ENT operation theatre registers and registers of bronchoscopy laboratory of chest medicine were analyzed for all the data about removal of aerodigestive FBs from April 2007 to March 2014.

Result: This study includes a total of 1125 foreign bodies, of which 878 were in digestive tract and 247 in respiratory tract. Bone chip was the commonest foreign body ingested, whereas whistle and seed were the commonest FBs inhaled.

Conclusion: FBs in an airway is an acute emergency. The general physician should know when to suspect an aerodigestive FB and should refer such cases as soon as possible to tertiary centers for removal. Rigid bronchoscopy, especially, and flexible bronchoscopy in few selected cases are the treatments of choice for tracheobronchial FBs. Cricopharynx is the most common site of FB lodgment in the digestive tract. Right main bronchus is the commonest site of lodgment of inhaled FB. Seed of dry fruits is the commonest FB inhaled.

Key words: Foreign body, bone chip, whistle

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