Turban pin aspiration; a potential risk for young Islamic girls

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 1999 May 5;48(2):131-5. doi: 10.1016/s0165-5876(99)00020-8.


A turban is a kind of headcover, worn for religious intentions. In Islamic countries, girls start to wear a turban with the onset of puberty. Turban pins (headscarf needles) are used for attaching the layers of turban to each other in order to keep it in a steady position around the head. Aspiration of these pins is investigated in accordance with age groups, pin characteristics and treatment. From 1987 through 1998, 63 girls were admitted to our department with turban pin aspiration. All patients were healthy prior to aspiration. The median age was 14 years. Foreign bodies were removed, either by rigid bronchoscopy (n = 57), flexible bronchoscopy (n = 2), laryngoscopy (n = 3) or thoracotomy (n = 1). Repeated bronchoscopy rate was 8% (n = 5) and we had no mortality. This recently recognized aspiration hazard can be minimized by using adhesive bands or snap fasteners, instead of pins, when wearing a turban.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bronchoscopy / methods
  • Child
  • Clothing*
  • Female
  • Fiber Optic Technology / methods
  • Foreign Bodies / diagnostic imaging*
  • Foreign-Body Migration / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Inhalation*
  • Islam
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Turkey