BMJ Case Reports 2015; doi:10.1136/bcr-2015-211452

A light bulb moment: an unusual cause of foreign body aspiration in children

  1. Paul Kwong Hang Tam
  1. Department of Surgery, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kenneth Wong, kkywong{at}
  • Accepted 7 August 2015
  • Published 26 August 2015


A 15-month-old girl developed persistent cough with no associated history of foreign body aspiration. Chest X-ray showed a U-shaped radiopaque foreign body, which was initially thought to be a hairpin, in the right main bronchus. Rigid bronchoscopy was performed and the foreign body turned out to be a light-emitting diode (LED) bulb. In this article, we report our experience of LED bulb aspiration in children, with the view to raise the awareness of clinicians about this potentially life-threatening emergency.

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