Turban pin aspiration: non-asphyxiating tracheobronchial foreign body in young islamic women

Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2006 Jun;54(4):273-5. doi: 10.1055/s-2006-923954.


Background: Foreign body aspiration is rare in adults. However, in recent years, the aspiration of pins which are used for securing turbans (headscarves) is seen frequently in young women. The aim of this article was to review 105 patients who were admitted to our hospital for turban pin aspiration.

Methods: Chest X-rays were used for diagnosis. Various methods of treatment were performed: laryngoscopy in 6 patients, flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy in 16, rigid bronchoscopy in 93, and thoracotomy in one patient, while in the other patient the turban pin was spontaneously expectorated.

Results: Localization of the pin in the right bronchial system was common (52%). In 6 patients, turban pins located in the larynx were extracted successfully by direct laryngoscopy. Turban pins were successfully removed with a flexible fiberoptic bronchoscope in 4 patients of the 16 (25%) and by rigid bronchoscope in 93 patients of 94 (99%). The average time until discharge was 18 hours and there was no mortality.

Conclusions: Turban pin aspiration is common in Islamic populations and treatment usually requires bronchoscopic procedures. In order to minimize turban pin aspiration frequency, we recommend that turbans should be secured by traditional fastening methods or with an apparatus which cannot be aspirated.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Airway Obstruction / diagnostic imaging
  • Airway Obstruction / prevention & control
  • Airway Obstruction / surgery
  • Bronchi*
  • Bronchography
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Clothing*
  • Female
  • Fiber Optic Technology
  • Foreign Bodies / diagnostic imaging*
  • Foreign-Body Migration / diagnostic imaging
  • Foreign-Body Migration / prevention & control
  • Foreign-Body Migration / surgery
  • Humans
  • Islam
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Respiratory Aspiration*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Trachea / diagnostic imaging*
  • Turkey