The risk of foreign body aspiration in children can be reduced with proper education of the general population

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2007 Feb;71(2):311-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2006.10.020. Epub 2006 Dec 11.


Objective: To evaluate the effect of a campaign for proper education of the public on the risk of foreign body aspiration in children.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of 87 endoscopic foreign body removals in children was performed at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery of the University Hospital of Crete, during the period between January 2000 and December 2004. Results were compared with those of a previous study conducted by the same Department during the period between 1991 and 1999.

Results: A foreign body was discovered in 44 cases, while in 43 cases there were no findings. Twenty-one foreign bodies (47.73%) were found in the right main bronchus, 20 foreign bodies (45.45%) were found in the left main bronchus and 3 (6.82%) in the trachea. Both crude and age-standardized bronchoscopy rates appear to be lower in the time period 2000-2004, as compared to the time period prior to the educational program.

Conclusions: The decline in the total number of bronchoscopies during recent years has been a result of a campaign for proper education of the public and especially parents, caretakers and families. All aspects of the educational campaign are described in detail. The risk of high morbidity and mortality from foreign body aspiration makes it mandatory to increase even more the awareness of the general population.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Foreign Bodies / prevention & control*
  • Foreign Bodies / surgery
  • Health Education*
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Respiratory Aspiration / prevention & control*
  • Respiratory Aspiration / surgery
  • Respiratory System*
  • Retrospective Studies