Pune: A two-year-old girl from Pune, who showed chronic symptoms of wheezing and coughing for the past three months, was found to have a peanut stuck in her windpipe.
Apart from wheezing, the patient was suffering from choking and severe breathing discomfort to the extent that the child had turned blue due of lack of oxygen flowing into her lungs. Her condition was diagnosed after doctors at Columbia Asia Hospital suspected that it was a case of a foreign body getting stuck in the wind pipe.
Dr Archana Kher, consultant pediatrician at the hospital, said that this was a classic case of tracheobronchial foreign bodies, in which children, specially under five years of age, swallow or inhale foreign bodies such as peanuts, buttons, small plastic or metallic parts of toys, or other small objects.
“But instead of the object going down the esophagus, it goes down the windpipe or trachea, blocking the airway. Sometimes these objects can also get inhaled, which could prove fatal as a child or a person can die due to lack of oxygen. In this case, the child had gone to multiple doctors and the problem went undiagnosed. The kid had undergone X-rays and several other tests. However, the cause could be ascertained after the family narrated about a choking episode three months ago when they had gone to Andaman Islands,” said Kher.
Dr Arvind Tiwari, consultant radiology at the hospital, said that they conducted high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) of the chest and found that an 8x4 mm sized foreign body particle was stuck in the chest. “The girl was admitted and we performed a 20-minute procedure with flexible bronchoscopy to remove the foreign body and it turned out to be a peanut,” said Tiwari.
Usually, children between the age of one year to three years are particularly at risk, as they are learning to be independent, are curious to taste and try out new things. The intensity of parental supervision decreases slowly, and their tendency to explore their environment with their hands and mouths increases. Often, they are at risk of swallowing various foods such as grapes, raisins, nuts, seeds and small toys and their parts and balloons, said the doctors.
Dr Pranav Jadhav, consultant pediatric surgeon, highlighted that the child was lucky. “The child luckily did not develop complications. It was good that the immediate decision of HRCT of chest was taken and we did not lose time in reporting, which turned out to be accurate. Bronchoscopy on such a small child was conducted and fortunately there was not much of granulation tissue around the foreign body, and thus it was comparatively easy to remove,” said Jadhav.