Review of ear, nose and throat foreign bodies in Sarawak General Hospital. A five year experience

Med J Malaysia. 2012 Feb;67(1):17-20.


Objective: Ear, nose and throat foreign bodies are common in ENT clinical practice. This study was designed to establish the local data of otorhinolaryngeal foreign bodies in term of prevalence among paediatric and adult groups, the clinical features, types of foreign body at different sites, and laterality of foreign bodies.

Method: This study was carried out at ENT department, Sarawak General Hospital, Malaysia, from 1st January 2005 to 31st December 2009. A total of 1084 cases were included and statistically analyzed.

Result: Ear foreign bodies showed the highest incidence which was consisted of 480 (44.3%) cases, followed by nose in 270 (24.9%) cases, pharynx in 251 (23.2%) cases, esophagus in 57 (5.3%) cases and laryngo-tracheobronchial tree in 26 (2.4%) cases. Otorhinolaryngeal foreign bodies occurred more frequently in 0-10 year old age group which constituted 651 (60.1%) cases. The descending order of frequency for foreign body sites in adult was pharynx (17.2%), ear (12.8%), esophagus (3.1%), nose (1.7%) and laryngo-tracheobronchial tree (1.1%). The type of foreign bodies varies with age group and site of foreign body lodgement. In general, common foreign bodies in both adult and children were food related, with the additional of small objects such as plastic toy in paediatric group.

Conclusion: Otorhinolaryngeal foreign bodies were found more frequently in children. The types of foreign body were different from age group and sites of foreign body lodgement. The local food constituted the highest incidence of ear, nose, and throat foreign bodies with additional of plastic toys in paediatric group.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Ear*
  • Female
  • Foreign Bodies / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nose*
  • Pharynx*
  • Retrospective Studies