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Singh JK, Vasudevan V, Bharadwaj N, Narasimhan KL
Correspondence: Dr Kannan Laksmi Narasimhan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction Foreign body aspiration in the airway of children is a life-threatening clinical situation. Endoscopic retrieval alone is successful in the majority of patients. Occasionally, open surgical intervention in the form of tracheostomy, thoracotomy and bronchotomy and/or pulmonary resection is needed. We analysed the specific indications for tracheostomy during the removal of airway foreign bodies in our study.
Methods The records of four patients who needed tracheostomy, out of 342 cases of foreign body airway obstruction managed by the senior author, were analysed. These patients underwent an additional tracheostomy for open removal of the foreign body and/or to secure the airway to facilitate the foreign body removal.
Results Rigid bronchoscopy was successful in retrieving the foreign bodies in 338 (98.8 percent) cases, while four (1.2 percent) cases required additional tracheostomy, either to protect the airway during the procedure or to assist in removing the foreign body. The indications for tracheostomy were subglottic foreign bodies of long duration, sharp subglottic foreign bodies and foreign bodies that were larger than the glottic chink. There was no mortality or long-term complication because of the tracheostomies.
Conclusion Tracheostomy is occasionally indicated in foreign body extraction, when they are subglottic in location and impacted, or are large foreign bodies that get obstructed at the glottic chink during removal.
Keywords: airway obstruction, bronchoscopy, foreign body, tracheostomy
Singapore Med J 2009; 50(9): 871-874