ISSN 1308-8734 | E-ISSN 1308-8742
Original Article
Foreign Bodies in Trachea: A 25-years of Experience
1 Department of Thoracic Surgery, Atatürk University School of Medicine, Erzurum, Turkey  
Eurasian J Med 2016; 48: 119-123
DOI: 10.5152/eurasianjmed.2015.109
Key Words: Asphyxia, bronchoscopy, foreign bodies

Objective: Tracheobronchial foreign body aspirations may cause cardiopulmonary arrest and sudden death. The incidence in children is higher than in adults. Rapid diagnosis and treatment is live saving. In this paper, we aimed to present our experience in tracheal foreign body aspirations and rigid bronchoscopy for 25-years.


Materials and Methods: From January 1990 to January 2015, 805 patients with suspected tracheobronchial foreign body aspiration were admitted to our department. Hundred and twelve patients with tracheal foreign body were included in this study. We evaluated patients’ records, retrospectively.  Age, gender, clinical symptoms, physical examination findings, radiological evidences, type of foreign body and intervention types were noted. 


Results: Sixty-five of the patients were female (58%) and 47 patients were male (42%), and mean age was 8.1 years (8 month-58 years). Coughing was the main symptom (n=112, 100%). Other symptoms and findings included dyspnoea and bilateral decreased lung sounds (n=73, 65.1%), bilateral rhonchi (n=68, 60.7%) and cyanosis (n=41, 36.6%). Rigid bronchoscopy was performed in all patients. The most common foreign body was nuts (n=75, 67%). The main radiologic finding was radiopaque image of the related foreign body in 27 patients (n=27, 24.1%). Cardiopulmonary arrest occurred in 11 patients and two of them died.


Conclusion: Tracheobronchial aspirations of foreign bodies are life-threatening events. If not diagnosed and treated rapidly, distressful results can be seen. Warning people by skilled persons on this topic will reduce the incidence of foreign body aspirations.

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