Two young children inhaled sweets which dissolved in the tracheobronchial secretions and caused severe respiratory obstruction. The viscid fluid produced as the sweet dissolved was not expectorated and bronchoscopy was necessary. The oedema of the mucosa caused by the presence of a hyperosmolar sugar solution took up to 48 hours to resolve; antibiotics and steroid cover were considered necessary. The similarity of presentation with acute tracheobronchitis and the lack of reports in the literature suggest that such cases may be misdiagnosed.
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