Ear, nose and throat foreign bodies in children: a search for socio-demographic correlates

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2011 Apr;75(4):510-2. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2011.01.006. Epub 2011 Feb 3.


Objective: Ear nose and throat foreign bodies in children are one of the most common emergencies faced by otorhinolaryngologists. Our objective in the study conducted in the otolaryngology department of R.G. Kar Medical College & Hospital was to find out the socio-demographic correlates of self inflicted foreign body insertion in ear-nose-throat in children presenting in out patient department and emergency.

Methods: A cross sectional descriptive study was conducted from October 2009 to March 2010 in the out patient department and emergency of otolaryngology. Using a predesigned and pretested questionnaire, socio-demographic data was collected prospectively on every alternate day by examining clinically all new pediatric patients attending with self-inflicted foreign body and interviewing their caregivers after removal of foreign body. The data collected from 288 children was analyzed by using simple proportion, odds ratio with 95% confidence interval, χ(2), t-test and analysis of one way variance (ANOVA) test. Epi info 3.4.3 version (CDC, Atlanta, retrieved from WHO website, on 01.11.09) and SPSS 17.0 were used for statistical calculations.

Results: Analysis showed male preponderance (59.72%) of cases from urban area (63.9%), predominance of 0-5 years age group with 5.19 ± 3.02 (mean ± standard deviation) years average age, nasal foreign body was on the top (44.4%), majority from low income (58.33%) joint family (65.3%) with housewives (75.0%) as primary care giver, majority of whom reported to have nil or low literacy (61.1%). 19.4% subjects having local pathology showed significant association with urban residence, joint family, low socio-economic status and two or less than two children of the mother of the participant children. Past history of similar incidence was found in 22.2% of study subjects and significantly associated with nasal foreign body insertion and higher among the children of housewives.

Conclusions: Increasing awareness of the prime caregivers by the routine grass root level health workers may be tried to reduce incidence of this risky health event and capacity building of the Primary level physicians to handle foreign body insertion cases can lessen the stress of the victim children and their parents.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Ear*
  • Emergency Medical Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Foreign Bodies / epidemiology*
  • Foreign Bodies / etiology
  • Foreign Bodies / therapy
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • India / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Needs Assessment
  • Nose*
  • Pharynx*
  • Primary Prevention / methods
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Distribution
  • Socioeconomic Factors