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International Journal of Otolaryngology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 293603, 5 pages
Research Article

Aerodigestive Foreign Bodies in Adult Ethiopian Patients: A Prospective Study at Tikur Anbessa Hospital, Ethiopia

Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Received 15 September 2013; Revised 17 March 2014; Accepted 17 March 2014; Published 15 April 2014

Academic Editor: Charles Monroe Myer

Copyright © 2014 Abebe Bekele. 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.


Introduction. Foreign bodies (FBs) in the aerodigestive tract are important causes of morbidity and mortality and pose diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. The best method of removal of an esophageal and tracheobronchial FB is endoscopic guided extraction. Objective. To present our experience of the removal of aerodigestive FBs in adult Ethiopian patients using rigid endoscopes. Methods. A hospital-based prospective study, at Tikur Anbessa Referral and Teaching Hospital, from January 2011 to December 2012 (over two years). Results. A total of 32 patients (18 males and 14 females) with a mean age of years were treated for FB ingestion and aspiration at Tikur Anbessa Hospital. The FBs were impacted at the esophagus in 18 (56.2%) patients, at the pharynx in 7 (21.8%), and at the air way in 7 (21.8%) patients. Pieces of bones were the commonest objects found in the esophagus (17/18 of the cases) and the pharynx (4/7), while fractured tracheostomy tubes and needles were frequently seen in the air way (3/7 cases each). The foreign bodies were visible in plain radiographs of 26 (81.2%) patients. Successful extraction of FBs was achieved by using Mc gill forceps in 11 cases, rigid esophagoscopes in 9 patients, and bronchoscopes in 4 cases. Four cases required open surgery to remove the foreign bodies. Two complications (one pneumothorax and one esophageal perforation) occurred. All patients were discharged cured. Discussion and Recommendations. Aerodigestive FBs are not so rare in the hospital and timely diagnosis and removal of accidentally ingested and aspirated foreign body should be performed so as to avoid the potentially lethal complications associated. Rigid esophagoscopy requires general anesthesia and is associated with its own complications, but our experience and outcome of its use are encouraging.