Bronchoscopic Removal of a Long-standing Aspirated Iron Pill

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Abstract

While patients have been known to aspirate pills, they virtually never persist long enough to lead to complications. A spectrum of events, however, may arise especially from iron pill aspiration. If not identified and removed early, cytotoxic damage from local free-radical generation may result in airway damage. We report a case of an aspirated iron pill, which did not disintegrate and presented with chronic cough. Imaging revealed a foreign body in the right bronchus, and bronchoscopic removal allowed resolution of an associated pneumonia, without any further symptoms on subsequent surveillance.

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