Foreign Bodies in a Pediatric Emergency Department in South Africa

M (Maaike) Timmers, Kitty Snoek, D Gregori, Janine Felix, M van Dijk, SAB van As

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Objectives: Foreign body-related pediatric trauma has a high incidence, but studies with large data sets are rare and typically stem from Western settings. The aim of this study was to identify characteristics of foreign body-related trauma in children treated at our trauma unit in South Africa. Methods: In this retrospective study, we analyzed all foreign body-related trauma admissions from 1991 to 2009. We collected detailed data including age, sex, type of foreign body, injury severity, and anatomical location of the foreign body. Results: We analysed 8149 cases. Marginally more boys (54.9%) than girls were involved. The overall median age was 3 years (interquartile range, 2-6 years); 78.8% were younger than 7 years. The predominant anatomical sites were the respiratory tract and the gastrointestinal tract (39.1%); ears (23.9%); nose (19.4%); and extremities (8.8%). The commonest objects were coins (20.8 %), (parts of) jewelry (9.5%), and food (8.7%). Three quarters (74.5%) of patients presented between 1 and 2 hours afte Conclusions: Preventive parent education programs targeting foreign body-related injury should mainly focus on both sexes younger than 7 years. Parents should be taught to keep small objects out of reach of young children, especially coins, because these most often result in a trauma unit visit.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1348-1352
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Emergency Care
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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