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Foreign bodies of the upper digestive tract in Komfo Anokye teaching hospital

J Opoku-Buabeng


Foreign body impaction in the upper digestive tract poses as an emergency condition to the otorhinolaryngologist as it discomforts the patient’s ability to swallow food and water. The main objective of the study was to investigate the incidence, the anatomical site of impaction, the nature of the foreign body, the management and the outcome of foreign body impaction in the upper digestive tract, in Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) between January 2007 and December 2012. This was a cross-sectional retrospective study of cases which was diagnosed and managed as foreign body in the upper digestive tract within this period. The data collected from the clinical records of 1,412 patients was analyzed by using simple proportion and the statistical calculation by SPSS 16.0. Analysis showed male preponderance (61.8%), with an average age of 28.8 ± 1.9 (mean ± standard deviation). The commonest foreign body was bone (fish/meat/ chicken) in (45.7%), followed by coin in (29.6%) and then dentures in (14.3%), etc. Direct laryngoscopy was performed in (63.0%), rigid esophagoscopy under general anaesthesia in (34.0%) and direct clinical removal in (3.0%). 95.8% were successfully removed, (1.5%) were not successfully removed and were referred to the Cardio-Thoracic Unit (CTU). In (2.7%) of the cases the foreign bodies were not visualized and were managed conservatively. Although foreign body impaction in the upper gastrointestinal tract (GIT) was among one of the commonest emergency in ORL practices it can be a major challenge to the otorhinolaryngologist and as such measures need to be taken to prevent such incident.

Keywords: Foreign body, Upper digestive tract, Coin, McIntosh laryngoscope, Chevalier-Jackson esophagoscope