Paediatric nasal foreign body in Calabar: A review of 5 -years experience

  • P.M. Francis
  • A.G. Adekanye
  • R.B. Mgbe
  • M.E. Offiong
  • C.O.A. Enyuma
Keywords: Paediatrics, Nose, foreign bodies


Background: Nasal foreign bodies are common domestic accidents in children. They can constitute a great challenge and management may require great skill. However, seldom does the Otolaryngologist keep track of the number and kinds of the foreign bodies he encounters.

Objective: To evaluate cases of nasal foreign bodies among children managed in Otorhinolaryngology Department of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Nigeria.

Materials and Methods: A retrospective study of 215 Cases of paediatric nasal foreign bodies seen and managed in the Otorhinolaryngology Department of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital from January 2015 to December 2018. Maximum age was 14years.The case notes of all children diagnosed with nasal foreign bodies within the period under review, from ENT Clinic, Ward and Children emergency Room were reviewed as related to age, gender, and type of foreign bodies, category of doctors, methods of removal and complications. Data were analysed and presented in descriptive, tabular and chart forms.

Results: Of the 215 children, 43.7% were males and 56.3% females. The age range was 0 – 14 years, with a male: female ratio of 1:1.35.The peak age range at which nasal foreign bodies were found was 0 – 4 years (87%) and the least frequent age bracket was 10 – 14years (1.4%). Most of the children were asymptomatic (60%), and others had unilateral foul-smelling nasal discharge (40%). The most common foreign body were beads (34.9%), followed by seeds (23.2%). Most presentations were within one day (90%), followed by one week (7%). Most foreign bodies (59.5%) were inserted into the right nostril, and 40.5% into the left. No bilateral insertion was observed. Most of the foreign bodies (80%) were mechanically extracted with Jobson–Horne's probes without general anaesthesia. Mainly Registrars did most removals 65% while 25% were by Senior Registrars. Mild epistaxis was a complication in 5% of cases.

Conclusion: Nasal foreign bodies are common in Calabar. The most frequently observed foreign bodies were beads and seeds. Therefore, public health education is needed for parents and caregivers.

Keywords: Paediatrics, Nose, foreign bodies.


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eISSN: 1115-2613