Foreign Bodies Injuries in Children in Argentina: A Countrywide Program Connecting Evidence with Prevention

Hugo Rodriguez1, Giselle Cuestas1, Simonetta Ballali2, Graciela Sica3, Walter Widmann4, Silvina Carca4, Susana Tortosa4, Dario Gregori5, §, *
1 Respiratory Endoscopy. Hospital de Pediatria Prof. Juan. P. Garrahan, CABA Buenos Aires, Argentina
2 Prochild ONLUS, Trieste, Italy
3 Respiratory Endoscopy. Hospital de Ninos Dr. Ricardo Gutierrez, CABA Buenos Aires, Argentina
4 Respiratory Endoscopy. Hospital de Ninos Dr. Orlando Alassia, Santa Fe, Argentina
5 Labs of Epidemiological Methods and Biostatistics, Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, University of Padova, Padova, Italy

© 2012 Rodriguez et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                                               §                         Hugo Rodriguez and Dario Gregori are Guest Editors for the issue.                                         * Address correspondence to this author at the Labs of Epidemiological Methods and Biostatistics, Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, University of Padova, Via Loredan 18, 35131 Padova, Italy; Tel: +39 049 8275384; Fax: +39 02 700445089;


The present study presents 441 cases of foreign bodies (FB) injuries collected in Argentina, in the framework of the Susy safe program, a web-based surveillance registry for foreign body injuries in children aged 0-14. The analysis was carried out on hospital cases recorded for foreign bodies’ injuries, registered in the Susy Safe database and validated as proper for quality and consistency of data. The current analysis is carried out on FBs located in ears, nose, pharynx and larynx, trachea, bronchi and lungs, mouth, oesophagus and stomach. Injuries occurred most frequently in children older than 3 years Four-hundred-forty-four cases were treated: female patient's incidence was lower than males' one, with a 1:1.24 proportion (44.7% of female, and 55.3% males).

Analyzing the outcomes, hospitalization was required in 218 cases (49.5%), most frequently when the injury occurred in trachea, bronchi and lungs (36.4%). Complications were recorded in 49 patients (11.1%), the majority of which (5.7%) presented to the ENT departments with a FB in the respiratory system.

An adult was present in 77.8 % of the cases testifying that primary prevention has a key role in avoiding those kinds of injuries. Particularly, active strategies that promote behavior change seem to be necessary. A communication initiative is under development in Argentina, aimed at informing parents and supervisors of the risks posed by common objects to their children's health.

Keywords: Foreign bodies aspiration/ingestion/insertion/inhalation, primary prevention.