Document Type : Case Report


Department of Pediatric, Faculty of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran


Objective: Foreign body swallowing is a common pediatric problem. A foreign body in the pharynx is a medical emergency that requires urgent intervention. Evaluation and treatment of pharyngeal foreign bodies is much more difficult in children than in adults and sometimes requires hospitalization and removal of the foreign bodies under general anesthesia due to children’s lack of cooperation. Fish and chicken bones are the most common swallowed foreign bodies, but an interesting case of a piece of dishwashing steel wool stuck in a child’s pharynx is reported in this article.
Case Presentation: A 10-year old boy was presented with a history of dysphagia from five weeks ago. Oral examination did not reveal anything significant. In lateral neck radiographs of the patient, a metal wire was observed in the hypopharyngeal region opposite the 4th and 5th cervical vertebrae. Endoscopic attempts to remove the foreign body were not successful. Therefore, the foreign body was removed from the patient’s pharynx in the operating room under general anesthesia. No complications were observed.
Conclusion: Despite the prevalence of swallowing foreign bodies in children, ingestion of a piece of dishwashing steel wool not diagnosed for three weeks was considered interesting to report. Pharyngeal foreign bodies are medical emergencies; therefore, it is particularly important to suspect the presence of a foreign body and perform diagnostic procedures.


Main Subjects

1. Webb WA. Management of foreign bodies of the upper gastrointestinal tract: update. Gastrointest Endosc 1995;41(1): 39-51. doi: 10.1016/s0016-5107(95)70274-1.
2. Wai Pak M, Chung Lee W, Kwok Fung H, van Hasselt CA. A prospective study of foreign-body ingestion in 311 children. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2001; 58(1): 37-45. doi: 10.1016/s0165-5876(00)00464-x.
3. Endican S, Garap JP, Dubey SP. Ear, nose and throat foreign bodies in Melanesian children: an analysis of 1037 cases. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2006; 70(9): 1539-45. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2006.03.018.
4. Hesham AKH. Foreign body ingestion: children like to put
objects in their mouth. World J Pediatr 2010; 6(4): 301-10. doi: 10.1007/s12519-010-0231-y.
5. Mishra A, Shukla GK, Naresh B. Oropharyngeal foreign body. J Laryngol Otol 2000; 114(6): 469-70. doi: 10.1258/0022215001905887.
6. Lai AT, Chow TL, Lee DT, Kwok SP. Risk factors predicting the development of complications after foreign body ingestion. Br J Surg 2003; 90(12): 1531-5. doi: 10.1002/bjs.4356.
7. Watanabe K, Amano M, Nakanome A, Saito D, Hashimoto S. The prolonged presence of a fish bone in the neck. Tohoku J Exp Med 2012; 227(1): 49-52. doi: 10.1620/tjem.227.49.
8. Yang CY, Yang CC. Subjective neck pain or foreign body sensation and the true location of foreign bodies in the pharynx. Acta Otolaryngol 2015; 135(2): 177-80. doi:10.3109/00016489.2014.973532.
9. Kim YH, Cho SI, Do NY, Park JH. A case of pharyngeal injury in a patient with swallowed toothbrush: a case report. BMC Res Notes 2014; 7: 788. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-7-788.
10. Kurul S, Kandogan T. Pharyngeal foreign body in a child persisting for three years. Emerg Med J 2002; 19(4): 361-2.doi: 10.1136/emj.19.4.361.
11. Sharma RC, Dogra SS, Mahajan VK. Oro-pharyngolaryngeal foreign bodies: some interesting cases. Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2012; 64(2): 197-200. doi:10.1007/s12070-011-0473-6.
12. Yadav SP, Chanda R, Malik P, Chanda S. Ingested nail penetrating the neck in an infant. Int J Pediatr
Otorhinolaryngol 2002; 65(2): 159-62. doi: 10.1016/s0165- 5876(02)00149-0.
13. Landis BN, Giger R. An unusual foreign body migrating through time and tissues. Head Face Med 2006; 2: 30. doi:10.1186/1746-160x-2-30.