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Case Reports in Critical Care
Volume 2016, Article ID 1329234, 4 pages
Case Report

Early Recognition of Foreign Body Aspiration as the Cause of Cardiac Arrest

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, Bronx, NY 10457, USA

Received 20 December 2015; Revised 28 January 2016; Accepted 3 February 2016

Academic Editor: Ricardo Oliveira

Copyright © 2016 Muhammad Kashif et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Foreign body aspiration (FBA) is uncommon in the adult population but can be a life-threatening condition. Clinical manifestations vary according to the degree of airway obstruction, and, in some cases, making the correct diagnosis requires a high level of clinical suspicion combined with a detailed history and exam. Sudden cardiac arrest after FBA may occur secondary to asphyxiation. We present a 48-year-old male with no history of cardiac disease brought to the emergency department after an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). The patient was resuscitated after 15 minutes of cardiac arrest. He was initially managed with therapeutic hypothermia (TH). Subsequent history suggested FBA as a possible etiology of the cardiac arrest, and fiberoptic bronchoscopy demonstrated a piece of meat and bone lodged in the left main stem bronchus. The foreign body was removed with the bronchoscope and the patient clinically improved with full neurological recovery. Therapeutic hypothermia following cardiac arrest due to asphyxia has been reported to have high mortality and poor neurological outcomes. This case highlights the importance of early identification of FBA causing cardiac arrest, and we report a positive neurological outcome for postresuscitation therapeutic hypothermia following cardiac arrest due to asphyxia.