PURPOSE: To assess the feasibility and safety of using fiberoptic brochoscopes for retrieving aspirated metallic pins that are used to fix Muslim women's scarves.
METHODS: The charts of 115 patients who underwent fiberoptic bronchoscopy in the period between September 2001 and April 2008 in Cairo University Hospitals by the author were reviewed. A total of 120 pins were retrieved. The following data were collected for analysis: age, sex, duration of aspiration, position of the pin, and the procedure time. Procedures were carried out as outpatient procedures, using local anesthesia and I.V. sedation with midazolam or propofol.
RESULTS: Among the 115 patients included in this case series, there was a single 16 years old male. The patients’ ages ranged from 6 years to 31 years (average 16.6 years). Thirteen pins were located in the trachea (13 out of 120= 10.8%), forty in the right bronchial tree (40 out of 120= 33.3%), and 67 in the left bronchial tree (67 out of 120=55.8%). In three cases, the pins were migrating (were radiologically detected in different locations in the airways). One girl had aspirated two pins, 9 months apart. Two girls had aspirated two pins simultaneously, while a third girl had aspirated three pins. The aspirated pins remained in the bronchial tree for a duration of few hours to 2 years. All pins were the beaded pins used for the fixation of women's scarves except for a 6 year old girl who had aspirated a wide open safety pin. The procedure time ranged from 10 to 120 min. depending on the position of the pin, the presence of granulation tissue, and whether the pin was impacted or not.
CONCLUSION: Flexible bronchoscopy is a safe method of retrieving aspirated metallic pins in different age groups. No major complications were encountered, no sophisticated equipment is required.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Retrieval of aspirated metallic pins -now a common problem in tertiary referral centers in Islamic countries- can be achieved safely by fiberbronchoscopy, avoiding rigid bronchoscopy and general anesthesia.
DISCLOSURE: Ahmed Al-Halfawy, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information