Is the emergency department management of ENT foreign bodies successful? A tertiary care hospital experience in Australia | Ear, Nose & Throat Journal Skip to content Skip to navigation

Is the emergency department management of ENT foreign bodies successful? A tertiary care hospital experience in Australia

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March 16, 2016
by Ritesh Gupta, MBBS, MS(ENT); Rugare Percy Nyakunu, MBBS, BMedSci; Jorian Russell Kippax, MBChB, FACEM

Abstract

We evaluated the role of the emergency department (ED) in the management of ear, nose, and throat foreign bodies in an Australian tertiary care hospital. We retrospectively reviewed all cases of ENT foreign-body presentations in the ED over a 2-year period. We identified 168 such cases, a large proportion of which involved pediatric patients. In addition to demographic factors, we also collected data on the nature of the foreign bodies, the specific sites involved, the rate of successful treatment by the ED staff, the seniority/rank of the treating clinician, and complications. Foreign bodies in the ear accounted for 49% of all cases, the nose for 43%, and the throat for 8%. The ED staff attempted to remove the foreign body in 89% of cases, while the rest were referred to the ENT team. The rate of successful removal of all foreign bodies attempted by the ED team was fairly high-78%; success rates were 86% for nasal foreign bodies, 72% for aural objects, and 67% for those lodged in the throat. No major complications occurred; minor bleeding episodes after removal occurred in 8% of cases. Most ENT foreign-body presentations were managed safely and entirely by the ED team; most of the ENT referrals were to outpatient clinics.

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