Doctors at AIIMS Delhi remove whistle stuck in airways of 4-year-old through bronchoscopy


New Delhi: Doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here removed a whistle which had got stuck in the airways of a 4-year-old child after he accidentally aspirated it, through endoscopy.

“Shahin, a native of Nuh distrist in Haryana, was brought to the Mother and Child Block of the hospital Sunday morning,” Dr Prabudh Goel, Additional Professor, Department of Paediatric Surgery said.

He said the child’s father had bought him a pair of slippers which had an inbuilt whistle. The whistle got dislodged and Shahin put it inside his mouth and it landed in his airways, Goel added.

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“The child was coughing when he was brought to the emergency ward. He was also in respiratory distress because the airways were compromised… the child was also making a whistling sound while breathing,” the doctor said.

The left main bronchas was okay, the left lung was being aerated and that is the reason the child survived. Additionally, there was movement of air into and out of the right lung through the whistle. The parents told us that it took them about one-and-half hours to reach the hospital.

A foreign body lodged in the main trachea blocking the main airway is an emergency of the highest order, Goel said.

“The child was directly taken to the operation theatre from emergency where we did a bronchoscopy.The bronchoscopy per say is a life and death challenge. Besides that it runs a risk of damage to the brain. There is a possibility we might need to do treacheostomy or a thoracotomy (open chest surgery) in such children,” he said.

AIIMS director Dr M Srinivas was also present during the surgery.

Dr Meenu Bajpai, Head of Department, Paediatric Surgery said such incidents of children coming to the emergency ward after swallowing peanuts, pieces of almonds, beads, safety pins, buttons and batteries are common mostly in children aged below 5-7 years. He said the hospital encounters approximately 100 such cases in a year.

“Through this case presentation, we want to spread awareness that parents should keep such items such as buttons, batteries, small toy whistles, necklace beads, peanuts, almonds and shirt buttons out of the reach of children,” he said.

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( With inputs from )

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