Rigid bronchoscopy is a procedure that is performed in order to directly visualize the
upper and lower airway and is carried out for either a diagnostic or therapeutic purpose.
Suspected foreign body (FB) aspiration is the most common indication for performing
this procedure in the pediatric age group at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center
where a recent census (May 2008 to April 2009) showed that of 21 cases where rigid
bronchoscopy was performed, 10 were for suspected FB aspiration. A review of 101
cases in the same institution showed that the average age of patients with FB aspiration
was 2 years and the most common item aspirated was a peanut followed by the atis
(sweetsop) seed and chicken bone chips. The most common inorganic foreign body
was an earring and “whistle” (which broke off from a toy).1 It is more common in males
probably because of their usually more active nature and is frequently found in the
right mainstem bronchus where the FB more easily lodges - being straighter, shorter
and wider in diameter. FBs are life-threatening events in children that require early
diagnosis and prompt successful management.