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Foreign Bodies of the Air and Food Passages in Children

Gerald B. Healy, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(3):249. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460030027015.
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Choking continues to be a leading cause of accidental death in patients under 12 months of age. Unfortunately, the presence of a foreign body in the air and food passages may be somewhat difficult to diagnose, in view of the fact that this problem may mimic many other clinical entities. The morbidity and mortality associated with foreign-body ingestion has changed little since the days when Chevalier Jackson first made the public aware of the devastation caused in many cases. Thus, pediatricians and primary care physicians must continue to be diligent in instructing parents in the proper disposition of small toys and other objects that are easily transferred from hand to mouth, such as peanuts and candy. In addition, these same physicians must continue to be mindful of this problem when developing a differential diagnosis in any patient with upper respiratory tract symptoms.

Drs Esclamado and Richardson1 have presented some interesting


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