Clinical characteristics of aero-digestive foreign bodies in neurologically impaired children

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2002 Feb 25;62(3):243-8. doi: 10.1016/s0165-5876(01)00632-2.


Objective: To determine if children with neurological impairment are at additional risk for foreign body aspiration or impaction and if they present with a different clinical course than normal children.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting: Tertiary care children's hospital.

Patients and other participants: A retrospective chart review of 328 consecutive procedures for aero-digestive foreign body removal over a 6 year period was performed. Of these patients 52 (15.9%) were identified with neurological impairment.

Results: Compared with the non-impaired children, those with neurological impairment were older, diagnosed later, hospitalized longer and had a higher incidence of complications.

Conclusion: A greater index of suspicion is needed to timely treat aero-digestive foreign bodies in children with neurological impairment. These children may not be receiving the necessary attention when presenting with non-specific symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Airway Obstruction / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Deglutition
  • Digestive System*
  • Female
  • Foreign Bodies* / complications
  • Foreign Bodies* / diagnosis
  • Foreign Bodies* / prevention & control
  • Foreign Bodies* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Inhalation
  • Male
  • Nervous System Diseases / complications*
  • Respiratory System*
  • Time Factors