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Age and Ageing

Year: 2009  |  Volume: 38  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 396 - 400

Prevalence of flexible bronchoscopic removal of foreign bodies in the advanced elderly

M Boyd, F Watkins, S Singh, E Haponik, A Chatterjee, J Conforti and R. Chin


Objectives: to define the likelihood and establish the overall safety and effectiveness of flexible bronchoscopy in the removal of foreign bodies in the advanced elderly compared to those younger.

Design: a retrospective case–control analysis.

Setting: tertiary care academic hospital.

Population: 7,089 adults (age >18 years), including 949 (15%) advanced elderly (age >75 years), who underwent flexible bronchoscopy between January 1995 and June 2007.

Measurements: in those patients with foreign body aspiration (FBA) (n = 20), a comparison of multiple clinical characteristics based on defined age groups (group 1, age <75 years and group 2, age >75 years) was performed.

Results: FBA requiring bronchoscopic removal was greater than three and a half times more likely in patients aged >75 years compared to those younger (OR 3.78, CI 1.4–10: P <0.05). Flexible bronchoscopy was 87.5% effective in the removal of foreign bodies in the advanced elderly and associated with no increase in adverse events.

Conclusion: bronchoscopic removal of foreign bodies is more likely in the advanced elderly when compared to those younger. This implies that this population may be most at risk. Flexible bronchoscopy is a safe and effective initial diagnostic and therapeutic approach in this age group.

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