A case of an unfortunate tooth fairy visit to a ventilator-dependent child

Moria Be'er, Israel Amirav, Michal Cahal, Mika Rochman, Ari DeRowe, Moran Lavie

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

Abstract

An 8-year-old boy recently sustained a cerebellar arteriovenous malformation rupture, and subsequently suffered from severe neurological injury and became ventilator-dependent through a tracheostomy. During a routine clinic visit, the parents reported that a loose baby tooth had fallen out and disappeared 7 days earlier. The physical examination was unremarkable, but a chest X-ray demonstrated a foreign body in the left lung and secondary atelectasis. A rigid bronchoscopy extracted what turned out to be a tooth from the left lower lobe bronchus, with no associated sequelae. Aspiration of a tooth is rare, and it is mostly seen in children and elderly patients following trauma, endotracheal intubation, and dental procedures. Only a few previous studies emphasized the increased risk of foreign body aspiration among neurological impaired children. This unique report describes a child in his physiological exfoliation period, which is characterized by the spontaneous shedding of 20 teeth over the course of several years. In severely neurologically impaired children, this period carries a risk of aspiration of teeth and secondary pulmonary damage. Therefore, treating physicians and caregivers must be aware of this risk, and routine dental check-ups are advised in a neurological impaired child during this period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1555-1556
Number of pages2
JournalPediatric Pulmonology
Volume57
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Keywords

  • aspiration
  • bronchoscopy
  • foreign body
  • mechanical ventilation
  • tooth

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