Airway foreign bodies: our six years’ experience with 301 cases


  • Jayalaxmi S. Aihole Department of Paediatric Surgery, IGICH, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
  • Narendra Babu M. Department of Paediatric Surgery, IGICH, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
  • Deepak J. Department of Paediatric Surgery, IGICH, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
  • Vinay Jadhav Department of Paediatric Surgery, IGICH, Bangalore, Karnataka, India



Airway, Foreign body, Tracheo bronchial intervention


Background: Foreign body aspiration (FBA) is a common problem in children and accounts for an important cause of morbidity and mortality. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the clinico-demographic profile and management of foreign body (FB) aspiration in hospitalized patients.

Methods: This was a retrospective study conducted at Indira Gandhi institute of child health, Bangalore during the period from January to December 2015. All patients who gave a history of FBA or suspected of FB aspiration, those who had recurrent chest infection and who had undergone bronchoscopy were included in the study. Medical records were used for data collection of cases recurrent chest infections. The diagnosis of FBA was made from the documented clinical presentations, physical findings and investigations like chest X ray, CT scan whenever done. The management included rigid bronchoscopy and surgical interventions like tracheotomy, thoracotomy with bronchotomy and thoracoscopic retrieval.

Results: Most of the patients were in the age group between 1 to 3 years 206 (68%). Males were more affected 217 (72%) than females 84 (27.9%). 290 patients (96.3%) presented early (within 7 days of aspiration) with cough and respiratory distress. FBs were found impacted in the right bronchial tree more commonly, 195 (82.2%), followed by left bronchial tree in 30 (12.6%) and in the trachea 8 (3.3%) cases. In failed bronchoscopy cases, other surgical modalities like tracheotomy, laryngotomy, bronchotomy, thoracoscopic retrieval were attempted.

Conclusions: Children of the age group 1-3 years were found most vulnerable for FB aspiration. FBs were mostly vegetative and were found mostly in the right bronchial tree. Removal of FB by rigid bronchoscopy was safe and effective when patients presented early. Surgical modalities of management like tracheotomy, laryngotomy, bronchotomy were needed in cases of late presentation.


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