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Aspirated foreign bodies in the tracheobronchial tree: report of 250 cases.
  1. O A Abdulmajid,
  2. A M Ebeid,
  3. M M Motaweh,
  4. I S Kleibo

    Abstract

    During the last 14 years, 250 patients with aspirated foreign bodies in the tracheobronchial tree were admitted to Kuwait Chest Diseases Hospital. Ninety-six per cent of the cases were under 10 years of age and 38% gave a clear history of foreign body inhalation. The rest were diagnosed either clinically, from the chest radiograph findings or because of unexplained pulmonary symptoms. In 247 cases, bronchoscopy under general anaesthesia was successful in removing the foreign bodies. In only three cases was bronchotomy needed. Seventy per cent of the foreign bodies were melon seeds. Asphyxia and cardiac arrest occurred in four cases during bronchoscopy but the patients were successfully resuscitated. In 10 cases a tracheostomy was done before bronchoscopy and the removal of the foreign body, while in five it was needed after bronchoscopy. Fifteen patients developed late complications such as recurrent pneumonia or atelectasis of the lung. Early diagnosis and adequate treatment are essential to prevent pulmonary and cardiac complications and to avoid radical lung surgery.

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