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.