Original Article|Articles in Press

Pediatric respiratory tract foreign bodies in children: A systematic review

Published:October 25, 2022DOI:



      Pediatric respiratory emergencies of airway foreign body (FB) are a common cause of visits to the emergency department (ED) and respiratory failure is a major cause of cardiopulmonary arrest. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the literature and update our current understanding of pediatric respiratory tract FBs in children by clearly considering the aspect of the complications and related factors.


      A systematic search of PubMed and Embase yielded a total of 2035 studies related to the respiratory tract FB in children. After screening the abstracts, 118 articles were included for analysis. However, 56 articles were excluded due to the published data more than 10 years. Meanwhile, 6 articles were duplicated and 3 articles were the secondary data. Thus, 53 full text articles were assessed for eligibility. Then, 46 full text articles were excluded due to irrelevant contents. Finally, there were 7 qualitative articles in this systematic review.


      Most children with FBs in the aerodigestive tract are 1–3 years of age. Most FBs are organic, especially seeds. The most commonly obstructed airway is the right primary bronchus. The most common and severe complications are pneumonia, pulmonary atelectasis, lung consolidation, pneumothorax, bronchiectasis, and death. The main device for the removal of FBs from the airways is a rigid bronchoscope. Duration of diagnosis is major factors that related with severe complication.


      FBs obstructive conditions in respiratory tract of children are serious and life-threatening conditions. The likelihood of death depends on the location of the obstruction, the nature of FB, time to removal, and initial resuscitation. Moreover, even after a FB has been removed, complications can lead to death. Educating parents and immediate treatment is very important. Rapid diagnosis is important factor to prevent complication.


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