Foreign body aspiration in Israeli children during the COVID-19 pandemic

Inbal Golan-Tripto, Reuven Tsabari, Elie Picard, Patrick Stafler, Keren Armoni Domany, Aviv D. Goldbart, Micha Aviram, Dvir Gatt, Romi Bari, Sergey Tsaregorodtsev, Chilaf Peled, Pesah Melnik, Ronen Bar-Yoseph, Guy Gut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, there has been a decline in pediatric emergency department visits. Our aim was to assess the pattern of pediatric foreign body aspiration (FBA) during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, in comparison to the prior years. Methods: In this retrospective multicenter study, we compared the number of children who presented with FBA during the COVID-19 year (March 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021) to the annual average of the years 2016–2019. We also compared the lockdown periods to the postlockdown periods, and the percentage of missed FBA, proven FBA, and flexible bronchoscopy as the removal procedure. Results: A total of 345 children with FBA from six centers were included, 276 in the pre-COVID-19 years (average 69 per year) and 69 in the COVID-19 year. There was no difference in the prevalence of FBA between the COVID-19 year and any of the prior 4 years. Examining the lockdown effect, the monthly incidence of FBA dropped from a pre-COVID-19 average of 5.75 cases to 5.1 cases during lockdown periods and increased to 6.3 cases in postlockdown periods. No difference in the percentage of missed FB or proven FB was observed. There was a significant rise in the usage of flexible bronchoscopy as the removal procedure (average of 15.4% vs. 30.4%, p = 0.001). Conclusion: There were fewer cases of pediatric FBA during lockdown periods, compared to post-lockdown periods, presumably related to better parental supervision, with no difference in the prevalence of FBA during the COVID-19 year.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-432
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Pulmonology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2023


  • COVID-19
  • children
  • emergency department
  • foreign body aspiration
  • lockdown

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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