Background: Inhaled foreign bodies are common paediatric emergencies and a major cause of accidental deaths at home among Nigerian children especially among children below the age of 5 years. Different types of foreign bodies have been reported from the ordinary to the most bizarre. We evaluated the types of foreign bodies and sites of possible impaction of these foreign bodies along the tracheobronchial tree.
Materials and methods: A 6-year case record of 35 patients with foreign body inhalation was reviewed from January 2005 to December 2010 at the Otorhinolaryngology Department of Bayero University/Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano - North-western Nigeria. Basic information such as date of birth, age groups, gender, indication for bronchoscopy, type of foreign bodies, sites of foreign body impaction and surgical outcome were extracted and analysed.
Results: Thirty-five patients [18 (51.4%) males and 17 (48.6%) females, aged 6 months-10 years] with a mean age of 5.1 years and median of 5 years (+/- 3.0 Standard Deviation). The most affected age group with 31.4% is 3-5 years. Groundnuts and whistles were the most frequently inhaled foreign bodies with an equal frequency of 25.7%, respectively. Foreign bodies were preferentially lodged in the left main bronchus in 8 (22.9%) patients compared to the right main bronchus in 6 (17.1%) patients.
Conclusion: Public enlightenment both in the news/print media on the risk of foreign body aspiration especially among the under-five's is highly advocated. The left main bronchus may be a common site for impaction as well.
Keywords: Bronchus; foreign bodies; impaction site; inhalation; public enlightenment; types; whistles.