Foreign body aspiration in adults

Singapore Med J. 2006 May;47(5):415-8.


Foreign body aspiration is not an uncommon problem, particularly in children, the elderly, and those with predisposing factors like neurological impairment. In adults, regional differences exist in the type of foreign body aspirated. We report four cases of foreign body aspiration in South Asian adults, three of which were related to the widespread habit of chewing stimulant seeds such as betel nuts (two) and tamarind seed (one). It is important for clinicians to maintain a high index of suspicion for the diagnosis of foreign body inhalation in the appropriate clinical setting. Bronchoscopy is necessary not only for the diagnosis but also for the removal of foreign body from the bronchial tree. Once the foreign body is removed, the improvement in symptoms is usually dramatic, making it rewarding for any physician to manage.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Areca
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Cough / etiology
  • Female
  • Foreign Bodies / complications*
  • Foreign Bodies / diagnosis
  • Foreign Bodies / therapy
  • Humans
  • Inhalation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tamarindus