Clinical Practice and Cases in Emergency Medicine
An Unusual Case of Stridor: Severe Tracheal Narrowing Secondary to Esophageal Food Impaction
- Author(s): McCreery, Ryan
- Meigh, Matthew
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.5811/cpcem.2019.5.43027
Foreign body impaction (FBI) in the esophagus has the potential to be a serious condition with a high mortality rate. Although the majority of foreign bodies trapped within the esophagus pass spontaneously, some do require endoscopic intervention. This case discusses a 95-year-old-female with a history of cerebral vascular accident who presented with acute onset respiratory distress with inspiratory stridor. The patient denied any episodes of choking or foreign body sensation. Further imaging revealed a large food bolus within the esophagus with extensive tracheal narrowing. The patient was diagnosed promptly and successfully managed endoscopically. This case presentation emphasizes the need to maintain a high index of clinical suspicion for FBI in high-risk populations, especially when the patient’s history makes it unlikely. In the setting of respiratory complications, airway protection remains a priority, but an accurate diagnosis with timely intervention is paramount.