Foreign body aspiration

Last reviewed: 3 Sep 2022
Last updated: 18 Aug 2020

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • choking crisis
  • unilateral decreased breath sounds
  • unilateral wheezing
More key diagnostic factors

Other diagnostic factors

  • intractable cough
  • fever
  • dyspnea
  • bilateral wheezing
Other diagnostic factors

Risk factors

  • decreased level of consciousness (Glasgow coma score <9)
  • age <4 years
  • age >70 years
  • bulbar dysfunction
  • male sex
  • cerebrovascular disease
  • dementia
More risk factors

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • chest x-ray
More 1st investigations to order

Investigations to consider

  • CT chest
  • bronchoscopy
More investigations to consider

Treatment algorithm

ACUTE

conscious

unconscious

Contributors

Authors

Arjun B. Chatterjee, MD, MS, FACP, FCCP, FAASM
Arjun B. Chatterjee

Professor of Medicine

Section on Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy, and Immunologic Disease

Wake Forest University School of Medicine

Winston-Salem

NC

Disclosures

ABC declares that he has no competing interests. His opinions are his own and do not represent those of his employers: Wake Forest University School of Medicine; US Department of Defense - United States Navy; US Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

Acknowledgements

Dr Arjun B. Chatterjee would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Septimiu Murgu and Dr Henri Colt, the previous contributors to this topic. SM and HC declare that they have no competing interests.

Peer reviewers

Amber Young, BSc, MB ChB, FRCA

Consultant Paediatric Anaesthetist

Department of Anaesthesia

Frenchay Hospital

Bristol

UK

Disclosures

AY declares that she has no competing interests.

Momen M. Wahidi, MD, MBA

Director

Interventional Pulmonology

Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Duke University Medical Center

Durham

NC

Disclosures

MMW declares that he has no competing interests.

Pyng Lee, MD

Senior Consultant

Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine

Singapore General Hospital

Singapore

Disclosures

PL declares that he has no competing interests.

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