Objective: To report a case of fractured tracheotomy tube ingestion in a pediatric patient, discussing the clinical presentation, complications and management of tracheobronchial tree versus upper digestive tract foreign bodies.
Design: Case Report
Setting: Tertiary Private Hospital
Result: A 4-year-old male child with unusual hypersensitivity to routine tracheotomy suctioning was discovered to have a fractured tracheotomy tube. Emergency radiographs localized the cannula in the abdomen and bronchoscopy was deferred. The foreign body was eventually passed out after four days.
Conclusion: Due diligence in diagnostics prior to bronchoscopy led to the avoidance of an unnecessary and sometimes complicated procedure. In developing countries with poor access to health care, the importance of regular tracheotomy follow-ups and periodic replacement cannot be overemphasized. A search of the English literature using Pubmed and Ovid search engines with keywords tracheostomy, foreign bodies and pediatrics confirms that this is the first reported accidental ingestion of a fractured tracheotomy tube in a pediatric patient.