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Foreign body aspiration and language spoken at home: 10-year review

  • S Choroomi (a1) and J Curotta (a1)



To review foreign body aspiration cases encountered over a 10-year period in a tertiary paediatric hospital, and to assess correlation between foreign body type and language spoken at home.

Study design and method:

Retrospective chart review of all children undergoing direct laryngobronchoscopy for foreign body aspiration over a 10-year period. Age, sex, foreign body type, complications, hospital stay and home language were analysed.


At direct laryngobronchoscopy, 132 children had foreign body aspiration (male:female ratio 1.31:1; mean age 32 months (2.67 years)). Mean hospital stay was 2.0 days. Foreign bodies most commonly comprised food matter (53/132; 40.1 per cent), followed by non-food matter (44/132; 33.33 per cent), a negative endoscopy (11/132; 8.33 per cent) and unknown composition (24/132; 18.2 per cent). Most parents spoke English (92/132, 69.7 per cent; vs non-English-speaking 40/132, 30.3 per cent), but non-English-speaking patients had disproportionately more food foreign bodies, and significantly more nut aspirations (p = 0.0065). Results constitute level 2b evidence.


Patients from non-English speaking backgrounds had a significantly higher incidence of food (particularly nut) aspiration. Awareness-raising and public education is needed in relevant communities to prevent certain foods, particularly nuts, being given to children too young to chew and swallow them adequately.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr S Choroomi, ENT Surgery Department, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Locked Bag 4001, Westmead 2145 NSW, Australia Fax: +61 2 9519 9926 E-mail:


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Foreign body aspiration and language spoken at home: 10-year review

  • S Choroomi (a1) and J Curotta (a1)


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