Preference matters: New aspects on how foreign bodies should and could be removed from a child's airway

Nadine Freitag, Leon Möllenberg, Anna Wiemers, Hans Martin Bosse, Julia Kristin, Alfin Vicencio, Dirk Schramm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Foreign body aspiration in children is a potentially life-threatening event that can be diagnosed and treated by airway endoscopy. We aimed to analyze the influence of the examiner's experience and preference on the choice of the technique and the resulting complication rate. Methods: In this international study, experts in the field documented their preferred and applied technique as well as the outcome of each case of foreign body removal. Personal data of the bronchoscopists and their medical center were collected via an online questionnaire separately from the case specifics. Results: A total of 399 foreign body removals were performed by 64 examiners. A total of 279 removals were performed using rigid endoscopy, and 120 procedures were performed by flexible. When a difficulty was expected, flexible endoscopy was used significantly more often (χ2(1) = 11.06, p < 0.001). Complications occurred significantly less often when the bronchoscopist used their preferred technique (χ2(1) = 6.41, p = 0.011), had more than 5 years of experience (χ2(1) = 5.13, p = 0.023) or performed more than 100 removals (χ2(2) = 11.51, p = 0.003). In medical centers, complication rates significantly decreased if more than 200 bronchoscopies were performed in children, compared to the centers that perform 50–200 bronchoscopies per year (χ2(1) = 24.56, p < 0.001). Conclusion: Preference and experience of a bronchoscopist and his/her medical center with flexible or rigid foreign body removal distinctively affect the outcome of the procedure and cannot be neglected in the discourse on the appropriate technique. This link also emphasizes the importance of a structured training program.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1912-1919
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Pulmonology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • bronchoscopy
  • flexible airway endoscopy
  • foreign body aspiration
  • foreign body removal
  • rigid airway endoscopy


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