Free Mediastinal Foreign Bodies: 5-year Experience and Review of Literature

  • M O Thomas


A prospective study of the free mediastinal foreign bodies was conducted over a 5-year period. A protocol was designed and the needed data were collated and studies. A thorough search of local and international literature was conducted. We collected data on the ages, gender distribution, types of foreign bodied involved, routes of entry and the management profile of all the patients. The foreign bodies that were confined in the thoracic organs were excluded. Only 7 patients met the study criteria. One of the patients swallowed Lukudi, a six-year-old girl fell on lead pencil which penetrated her anterior mediastinum. All the 7 patients were successfully managed. The conclusions are the strictly free mediastinal foreign bodies are rare and there is a paucity of local reports on the topic. A striking incidence about a learned African who believed that he could make magical money brings to fore the need for public enlightenment against such practice. The evolving world of endoscopic surgery throws a challenge towards the future management of these types of cases. We need to do more in this part of the world.

NQJHM Vol. 13 (3-4) 2003: pp. 11-13

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eISSN: 0189-2657