Foreign body aspiration in a child with unilateral lung aplasia

Kiran Nandalike, Aaron Kessel, Sandeep Tripathi, Todd Sweberg, Alfin G. Vicencio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: To present a case of foreign body aspiration in a child with unilateral lung aplasia and successful removal of the foreign body by bedside flexible bronchoscopy. Data Source: Case details were obtained from medical records. Study Selection: Eighteen-month-old girl with unilateral lung aplasia. Data Extraction and Synthesis: Demographic details (age) and clinical and biochemical data (blood gas) were obtained from medical records. An 18-mo-old girl with the diagnosis of right lung aplasia, who underwent aortopexy in the newborn period for severe respiratory distress, presented with acute-onset respiratory distress. The patient was treated with bronchodilators and steroids without success and rapidly progressed to respiratory failure. Flexible bronchoscopy done at the bedside showed a foreign body completely obstructing the left main bronchus. The rigid bronchoscopy was unsuccessful in extracting the foreign body because of the complex airway anatomy. The foreign body was successfully extracted by basket forceps via a flexible bronchoscope, and the patient recovered remarkably within few hours of the procedure. Conclusions: Because foreign body aspiration in a child with a unilateral lung can result in abrupt respiratory compromise and death, a high index of suspicion is necessary when these children present with acute respiratory symptoms. Although rigid bronchoscopy is the procedure of choice for the removal of foreign bodies, flexible bronchoscopy may be necessary for patients with abnormal airway anatomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPediatric Critical Care Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Flexible bronchoscopy
  • Foreign body aspiration
  • Unilateral lung aplasia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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