Ear and nose foreign body removal in children

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 1998 Nov 15;46(1-2):37-42. doi: 10.1016/s0165-5876(98)00118-9.


The removal of foreign bodies in children is very common in the otolaryngologist's daily routine. We present a prospective series of 187 cases of ear and nose foreign bodies removed from children aged 0-12 years old in a 6-month period--95 females (50.8%) and 92 males (49.2%); 78 children (41.71%) aged from 1 to 2 years, 66 (35.29%) from 3 to 5 years. There were 93 cases (49.73%) of ear foreign bodies, in which a bean was the most common (24.73%), and 94 cases (50.27%) of nose foreign bodies, in which sponge fragments predominated (36.17%). In 82 cases (45.85%), the removal was performed within the first 24 h after the foreign body insertion, and 86 (45.98%) of the patients had previous attempts to remove it. Thirteen cases with complications (external ear canal lacerations, tympanic membrane perforation) were observed in patients in whom these previous attempts had been made, but there were no sequelae. This corresponds to one of the largest reports of ear and nose foreign body removal in children in the literature; we conclude that younger children are more prone to insert foreign bodies, which are objects usually found at home. Complications may occur as a result of attempts to remove the foreign body without the help of specialised personnel or proper conditions.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Ear*
  • Female
  • Foreign Bodies / epidemiology
  • Foreign Bodies / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Nose*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors