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Zubairi AB, Haque AS, Husain SJ, Khan JA
Correspondence: Dr Ali Bin Sarwar Zubairi, email@example.com
Foreign body aspiration is not an uncommon problem, particularly in children, the elderly, and those with predisposing factors like neurological impairment. In adults, regional differences exist in the type of foreign body aspirated. We report four cases of foreign body aspiration in South Asian adults, three of which were related to the widespread habit of chewing stimulant seeds such as betel nuts (two) and tamarind seed (one). It is important for clinicians to maintain a high index of suspicion for the diagnosis of foreign body inhalation in the appropriate clinical setting. Bronchoscopy is necessary not only for the diagnosis but also for the removal of foreign body from the bronchial tree. Once the foreign body is removed, the improvement in symptoms is usually dramatic, making it rewarding for any physician to manage.
Keywords: betel nut, bronchoscopy, foreign body aspiration, stimulant seeds, tamarind seed
Singapore Med J 2006; 47(5): 415-418