Foreign body in the ear, nose and throat in children: A five year review in Niger delta

  • MU Ibekwe
  • LO Onotai
  • B Otaigbe
Keywords: Ear nose and throat, foreign body, Niger delta


Background: Foreign body (FB) injury in children is becoming increasingly common in developing countries. Children tend to be curious and exploratory hence the easily accessible orifices tend to be at risk of this form of injury. This study is to determine the prevalence, treatment outcome and complication of foreign body injury to the ear, nose and throat in children.
Materials and Methods: A retrospective study of all pediatric patients with FB in the ear, nose and throat (ENT) seen at the ENT surgery department and children emergency ward of our institution from January 2004 to December 2008. Demographic and clinical data were obtained from records of the patients and analyzed.
Results: There were 202 children with ENT injuries within the period under study, 181 (89.60%) had FB injuries. There were 94 males (51.93%), 87 females (48.07%) male:female ratio of 1.1:1. Age ranged from 2 months -15 years with a mean of 3.71 ± 2.59 years, a mode of 3 years. Most of the patients were below age seven years, highest in the range 0-3 years (61.8%). The nose recorded the highest injury 88 (48.62%). Commonest FB was ornamental bead 51 (28.17%) found both in the ear and the nose. Fish bone constituted the highest FB in the laryngotracheobronchial (LTB) tree and the oesophagus. Twenty-three cases (12.7%) had emergency tracheostomy done.
Conclusion: Foreign body injuries constitute a significant portion of pediatric ENT trauma in clinical practice. The under 3 years are most affected. There is need for more public education of parents and care givers so as to prevent this avoidable injury.


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