Clinical variables responsible for early and late diagnosis of foreign body aspiration in pediatrics age group

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Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery


Background: Incidence of foreign body aspiration has been noticed predominantly in age group ranging from 12 months-3 years. Foreign body in the trachea is a medical emergency as presentation is in respiratory distress. Obstruction of only one main or distal bronchus, leads to severe cough, choking sensation and breathlessness. Without early intervention, it can lead to collapse, consolidation and pneumonia of the affected lung. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 37 pediatric case records who presented from January 2014-December 2018 with foreign body aspiration. Our primary aim was to assess the parameters responsible for early and late diagnosis of foreign body aspiration. We concluded with a diagnostic algorithm for management of foreign body aspiration on the basis of this outcome. Results: Around 32.5% came with a history of aspiration, 43% were referred from the primary centers with a suspicion for the same and the rest came to our tertiary care hospital directly. Those who presented within a week came with complaints of wet cough, wheeze and tachypnea. Furthermore, those who came in after a week had a dry cough and fever as their main complaint. Majority of ingested foreign bodies was a vegetative type (80%) as compared to the non -vegetative. Conclusion: Unlike adults, foreign body aspiration in children is most commonly diagnosed on history, suspicion and clinical findings. Chest x ray has been the primary investigation of choice but in the majority of the cases it was normal with subtle changes. Early diagnosis is the key to avoid complication.



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