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Chirurgia 2012 December;25(6):413-7

language: English

Childhood airway foreign bodies: a continuing problem

Eze J. 1, Nwosu J. N. 2, Onyekwulu F. A. 3

1 University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State, Nigeria;
2 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State, Nigeria;
3 Department of Anesthesia, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State, Nigeria


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AIM: This study was done to audit the prevalence, presentation, management and outcome of foreign body inhalation in childhood in South East Nigeria over a period of ten years. Deaths from this have been reported through different media.
METHODS: Case notes of patients seen at UNTH were reviewed for the relevant data. Data obtained were analyzed and presented in tabular and graphical forms.
RESULTS: There were 29 patients made up of 18 males and 11 females with a mean age of 4.27 years. Modal age group was 0 – 3 years. Commonest presenting symptoms were cough and difficulty in breathing. Treatment constituted largely of bronchoscopy and laryngoscopy. Treatment complications were minimal and were seen mainly among patients who presented late. There was no mortality.
CONCLUSION: Prompt presentation, diagnosis and adequate treatment result in favorable outcome in the management of foreign body inhalation. Patients should be referred to the centre as quickly as possible.

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