Foreign bodies in the airway. Five-year retrospective study with special reference to management

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. Sep-Oct 1980;89(5 Pt 1):437-42. doi: 10.1177/000348948008900513.


The charts of 143 patients with foreign bodies in the larynx and tracheobronchial tree who were admitted to the Chidrens Hospital of Los Angeles during the period 1973 to 1978 were reviewed. Of these children 84 were male and 59 were female. One hundred were private patients and forty-three were clinic patients. Of these foreign bodies 60 were nut meat which is by far the most common foreign body of the tracheobronchial tree. All foreign bodies were successfully removed. One hundred twenty-six were discharged within the first 24 hours after admission and treatment. Fifty-one or 36% of these patients were discharged on the same day after the foreign body was removed. Sixty-two of the foreign bodies were in the left bronchial tree, while 55 were in the right bronchial tree. One hundred thirty-eight were endoscoped under general anesthesia using the apneic technique and five patients were treated with oxygen standby only because of severe respiratory obstruction. A detailed description of the use of apneic technique with profound muscle relaxation, the avoidance of preoperative medication and the team approach to ventilating the patients are all described. The advantage of general anesthesia, and the potential intraoperative and postoperative problems are reviewed. Of the total number of cases 13% were between 4 and 11 months of age, 44% were between 12 and 23 months of age and 57% were over 23 months of age.

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia, General / methods*
  • Bronchi*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Endoscopy / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Food
  • Foreign Bodies / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intraoperative Complications
  • Larynx*
  • Male
  • Nuts
  • Patient Care Team
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Trachea*