Ingestion and aspiration of foreign bodies are rather common in infants and children. Sometimes the foreign body passes through without causing any harm and sometimes it gets lodged in a certain area of the body.
A 7 year old girl was, brought to the hospital complaining of significant and continuous foul smell from her nose for the past 1 year. Parents of the child on being particularly concerned about the foul smell consulted with several doctors for this complaint. During her initial course of checkup, the child was treated for nasal allergy and adenoid hypertrophy, adenoid is a tissue similar to the tonsil behind the nose. She was treated with anti-allergic and nasal sprays, but her condition remained the same. Usually when children inhale or ingest a foreign body, the symptoms are rather evident. However this was a rather unusual case where the child did not experience any unusual symptoms and was rather healthy with no significant complaints. Fortunately for the child, the ring despite having been in her nasal cavity for 1 year caused no infection or other harm.
In order to understand the cause of the foul smell from her nose, further investigations were conducted and a lateral view X-ray of her neck was taken, which showed the presence of a metallic ring impacted in the nasopharyngeal region. The child remained healthy with no health concern and did not depict any symptom except an infection around the area of the ring, causing the foul smell from her nose. The metallic ring was endoscopically removed via the child’s oral cavity under general anesthesia. The procedure required only a few minutes to complete and the post-operative period was minimal. The child was discharged on the same day and was given saline nasal spray post the endoscopic procedure in order to prevent any further infection
Dr. Amit Goel, Specialist ENT at Aster Hospital said, “This is a very rare encounter because the child had the foreign body behind her nasal area for 1 year. This could have been ingested or inhaled, although via nasal root seems most probable in this case. In usual cases a child may experience symptoms like nasal blockage, foul smelling nasal discharge and infection, if the foreign body is retained in the nasal cavity for prolonged periods. However the child is now perfectly all right with no signs of infection or concerns.”
The child is now doing perfectly well.
*Image changed to retain patient confidentiality.