An appropriate negative bronchoscopy rate in suspected foreign body aspiration

Am J Surg. 1989 Dec;158(6):622-4. doi: 10.1016/0002-9610(89)90208-0.


Aspiration of foreign bodies in children can lead to illness and even death if not recognized and treated promptly. Seventy-six patients were referred to our hospital for suspected foreign body aspiration. The following is a retrospective review of their diagnosis and treatment. There was no foreign body found at bronchoscopy in seven patients (9 percent), and there were nine patients (12 percent) with bronchial foreign bodies who had a delay in diagnosis of foreign body aspiration. The delay averaged 35 days. These children, as a result of a prolonged period before diagnosis, were treated unnecessarily for pneumonia and asthma. Once correctly diagnosed, they had a significantly longer hospital stay. We propose that some negative bronchoscopies are necessary in order to prevent the morbidity that occurs from a missed foreign body aspiration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bronchi
  • Bronchoscopy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Foreign Bodies / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Inhalation*
  • Larynx
  • Male
  • Respiration*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Trachea