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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 154-157

Migrating Foreign Body in the Tracheobronchial Tree of Children: Report of Two Cases

1 Department of Child Health, University of Benin Teaching zospital, Benin City, Nigeria
2 Department of Pathology, University of Benin Teaching zospital, Benin City, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
O Oviawe
Department of Child Health, University of Benin Teaching zospital, Benin City
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Tracheobronchial foreign bodies (FBs) especially in infants and children can cause respiratory obstruction and can lead to death if intervention is delayed. Two cases of migrating FBs in the tracheobronchial (T-b) tree with fatal outcome are reported: Case 1 was an 11-year-old girl with a ten-week history of episodes of fever, cough, breathlessness and progressive weight loss. No positive history of FB aspiration. She was cachetic and febrile with short attention span, dyspnoeic, a flattened left upper hemithorax, mediastinal shift and evidence of atelectasis. Case 2, a 5-year-old girl with a three-month history of aspiration of a tiny toy. She developed fever, cough and marked weight loss, developed severe respiratory distress three days prior to presentation. She was febrile, had grade II finger clubbing, markedly dyspnoeic, left mediastinal shift, and evidence of left sided atelectasis. X-ray films in Case 1 showed evidence of FB at various locations in the T-b tree, and complete opacification and atelectasis of left hemithorax in Case 2. Planned bronchoscopy could not be done as both patients were adjudged to be too severely ill for the procedure. Both patients died after 9 days and 8 hours of hospital stay, respectively. Postmortem revealed FB in right main bronchus in both patients (tooth and toy, respectively) and evidence of tuberculosis in Case 2. Fatal outcome is attributed to inappropriate healthcare seeking behaviour, lack of medical expertise and material resources in our health facilities.

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