Leech infestation: The unusual cause of upper airway obstruction
This paper presents a case of a 7 year-old child who presented with a 14-days history of blood stained saliva and shortness of breath of 3 days with signs of upper airway obstruction. Laryngoscopy revealed a blackish living foreign body in the proximal trachea. Under general anesthesia the leech was removed by applying forceps. I conclude that a high index of suspicion of leech infestation is required when faced with a child presenting with unexplained bleeding per mouth and signs of upper airway obstruction.
KEY WORDS: Leech, Foreign body, Trachea, upper airway obstruction.