Background Foreign body injuries in the upper-aero-digestive tract are a common and serious problem among children which is still poorly understood since the difficulty to collect information with a deep level of detail and a wide geographical coverage needed for active surveillance purposes.
Methods A total of FB 7296 injuries in paediatric patients were gathered by the Susy Safe, EU funded, Web-Registry. The registry involves more than 60 institutions from 24 countries.
Results About 62% (4047) of children was older than 3 years and the 54% (3700) were males. About 52% of the FBs were inorganics. Among them pearl, ball and marble (14%), toy (5%), coin (4%) were the most recurrent objects. Among organics, fish bones and bones accounted for 21% of cases and nuts for 13%. The shape of the objects was spherical in the 32% of the cases. The volume was estimated and the median value was 37.7 mm3 (IR 16.76, 96.74). Complications arose in the 10% of the cases, and hospitalisation was required in the 34% of the injuries with a median length of stay of 1 day. Injuries took place in the absence of adult supervision in the 51% of cases. The 52% of injuries occurred while children were playing and 41% while they were eating.
Conclusion The Susy Safe Web-Registry is serving as a basis for a knowledge-based consumer protection activity. It distinguishes from other registries for its wide size and by a deep characterisation of objects which caused the injuries.
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