Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 18-23

Ear foreign bodies: Observations on the clinical profile in Sokoto, Nigeria

Department Of Ear, Nose and Throat, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
K R Iseh
Department Of Ear, Nose and Throat, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1596-3519.55689

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Background / objectives : Ear foreign bodies are common otorhinolaryngological emergencies which must be removed otherwise they may present with various complications. This paper reviews cases of ear foreign bodies seen over a seven year period from January 1995 to December 2001 in the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) department of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital Sokoto, Nigeria. Method : This is a retrospective study of all case folders of patients who presented with ear foreign bodies whose clinical features and management modalities were analyzed . Results : The total number of patients reviewed were 207.There were 126 males (60%) and 81 females (40%) with a male to female ratio of 1.5:1.Their ages ranged from 1 to 65 years with 61.8% being children under 10 years old. Agricultural seed was the commonest documented foreign body (15%). Deliberate insertion by patients accounted for 70% of the cases while accidental insertion accounted for 30%. Ear foreign bodies became complicated in 41 patients (19.8%) at presentation one of them requiring a major surgical operation (posterior tympanotomy) to remove the foreign body. About 99.5% of the foreign bodies were removed through the per meatal approach with 79.8% being carried out by the nurses and doctors who had received basic training to do so. Conclusion : Ear foreign bodies may become complicated and so needs to be removed using standard methods which should be carried out by those specially trained to do so.

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