Popcorn Chokes Toddler
Specialists at Schneider Children’s managed to successfully extract popcorn pieces from the airways of a 2-year-old. The toddler, Ori Adler, arrived at the ER suffering from choking and difficulty swallowing and breathing. Due to her distress and the danger posed to her life, she was immediately transferred to the operating room.
Doctors and nursing staff rapidly assembled to prepare for the emergency procedure and successfully extracted the popcorn using delicate bronchoscopy. The medical team included Dr. Patrick Staffler, Head of the Pulmonary Function Lab, and Dr. Guy Steuer both of the Pulmonary Institute, Dr. Roi Hod and Dr. Orna Katz-Kadosh of the ENT Unit, and anesthetist Dr. Alexander Tarabkin.
Ori remained sedated following the procedure in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit headed by Dr. Elhanan Nahum and head nurse Ester Shmuelov. Following her recovery, she was transferred for observation to Pediatrics C headed by Dr. Irit Krause and head nurse Racheli Geva, until her discharge home.
Dr. Staffler explained that “bronchoscopy allowed us to reach and extract all the small and sharp popcorn pieces that were stuck in the child’s airways. We warn parents again and again about the danger of letting small children near items or foods that they can swallow and inhale. Children do not have the ability to defend themselves simultaneously with swallowing and inhaling mechanisms, which means that any item they put in their mouths can enter the airway passages. Small items and foods unsuitable for their ages due to consistency and size such as popcorn or nuts must be kept out of the reach of children under 5 years of age. Adults should cut fruit into small round pieces. In the event that a child inhales a foreign object, medical assistance must be sought immediately or the child brought to the hospital without delay.”