Objective The insorption of a foreign body is the fourth highest cause of death for children because of an accident. We present 4 cases in which the patient’s history and the immediate decision for bronchoscopy saved the children’s life.
Methods Retrospective review of medical records from children who had an episode of insorption and were transferred in our paediatric emergency department during one year (2006).
Results One child had persistent cough for 20 days. The chest X-ray showed emphysema at the left lung. After asking thoroughly about the beginning of the cough, the mother revealed that the child had an episode of choking with hazelnuts 3 weeks ago. It was decided to conduct bronchoscopy and 4 pieces of hazelnut were removed. The second child presented also with persistent cough for 1 day. The physical examination and the chest X-ray were negative. Taking the medical history, we discovered that the cough had started after eating a fish. Bronchoscopy took place and a fish bone was removed. The other 2 children had choked with a piece of sweet bread and with pieces of an apple and were immediately transferred to our department with low oxygen saturation and dyspnoea. Both of the children were intubated and transferred in an intensive care unit. After bronchoscopy and removal of the foods the children’s health improved and they exited the intensive care unit.
Conclusions A good medical history and the immediate decision for bronchoscopy can save the life of a child who has choked on a foreign body.