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“It was a difficult time for us when we heard that awkward sound from the chest of our kid. As an Almond stuck in the windpipe. We took him to our pediatrician in Panipat. The pediatrician immediately asked us to see an ENT specialist. He did an X-Ray of Chest of our kid Nihal”, says Father Lovish Juneja hailing from Panipat.

 A 2 years old boy Nihal Juneja was referred to the pediatric emergency at an advanced pediatric centre, PGIMER, Chandigarh on the Monday 22nd of February, from Panipat with sudden onset of coughing and difficulty in breathing after eating almonds 5 days ago. The child was promptly attended to and investigated for aspiration with a chest x-ray.

The child was immediately taken up for Rigid Bronchoscopy under general anesthesia where an endoscope is passed into the airway and a foreign body (Almond piece) was retrieved from the left bronchus (windpipe). The parents were counselled about the clinical condition and the risks associated with the bronchoscopy procedure.

 The parents understood the situation and consented for the procedure without any delay. Under high risk, Prof Ram Samujh, Head of the Department of Pediatric Surgery, PGIMERChandigarh and his team of Dr Nitin J Peters, Dr Manasa Reddy and Dr Amit K Rai performed the Bronchoscopy and meticulously retrieved the foreign body. The Anesthesia was administered by Dr Anudeep Jafra and her team for this critical procedure. After the procedure, the child was instantaneously relieved of his symptoms and was discharged after a few days.

Another 4 years old boy was referred the next day with aspiration of a metallic foreign body which was a screw in the right main bronchus, which too was adeptly retrieved using Rigid bronchoscopy by Dr Nitin J Peters, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatric Surgery, PGIMER, Chandigarh.

Prof. Jagat Ram, Director, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER) congratulated the entire team of Pediatric Surgeons & Anesthetists and advised parents to keep their small children from these foreign bodies which can be fatal at times. He also advised the parents to keep faith in the treating doctors and take decisions regarding the surgery without any delay as in above cases.

Foreign bodies in the airway are a life-threatening condition that requires urgent intervention in the form of Rigid Bronchoscopy and retrieval. The procedure requires great expertise and prowess. The Department of Pediatric Surgery at PGIMER receives around 120 cases of foreign body aspirations every year.

The patients are attended to immediately and treated at the earliest. PGIMER, Chandigarh is the largest referral centre in North India, catering to patients from nearly 5 states viz Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu, and Kashmir, and Northern Rajasthan.

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