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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 269-272

Aural foreign bodies in children

1 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria
2 Department of Paediatrics, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Adekanye Abiola Grace
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/NJM.NJM_57_20

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Background: Pediatric aural foreign bodies (FB) are relative medical emergencies. Primary care physicians, pediatricians, and otorhinolaryngologists commonly encounter them. Objective: The objective was to carry out a retrospective analysis of pediatric aural FB managed in otorhinolaryngology department of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A total of 157 children with aural FB managed at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Nigeria, from January 2015 to December 2018 were reviewed with regard to the type of FB, location, in the ear, methods of removal, complications, age, and sex. Results: Of the 157 children, 54.1% were males and 45.9% females. Male: female ratio was 1.2:1. Ninety-five (60.5%) were below the age of 5 years, 46 (29.3%) were 6–10 years of age, and 16 (10.2%) were in the age group of 11–15 years. The most common objects were beads, papers, and cotton. Most presentations (86%) were within 24 h. Seven patients (4.5%) required surgical removal under general anesthesia. Most of the patients (92.4%) had no complications. Morbidities include bleeding from the ear canal 6 (3.8%), canal abrasions/lacerations 4 (2.5%), and tympanic membrane perforations 2 (1.3%). Conclusion: Aural FBs are common conditions in children in our environment. Most of these can be successfully removed by skillful personnel, adequate immobilization, and proper instrumentation. Pediatricians, family physicians, and other health workers should not hesitate to refer to otorhinolaryngologists, uncooperative/apprehensive children, those with a history of attempted removal by their parents or caregivers, or FB whose contour, composition and position in the canal cannot be fully assessed.

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