Clinical Tip: Removing foreign objects from nasal passages

June 1, 2007

When dealing with a foreign nasal body in children, the least traumatic method I have found is by using a Foley catheter 6F. Pass the catheter (lubricated) up the nasal passage and past the foreign body. Inflate the balloon with 1-2 mL of air, depending on the size of the child. Keep the balloon inflated, and remove the catheter. The inflated balloon forces the foreign body out of the nasal opening. Unlike the common practice of using forceps, which frequently cause nasal trauma and bleeding, I have never experienced bleeding with this technique in my seven years of practice.

When dealing with a foreign nasal body in children, the least traumatic method I have found is by using a Foley catheter 6F. Pass the catheter (lubricated) up the nasal passage and past the foreign body. Inflate the balloon with 1-2 mL of air, depending on the size of the child. Keep the balloon inflated, and remove the catheter. The inflated balloon forces the foreign body out of the nasal opening. Unlike the common practice of using forceps, which frequently cause nasal trauma and bleeding, I have never experienced bleeding with this technique in my seven years of practice.
Try it and see!

Brian K. Bowden, MDColumbus, Ohio