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Foreign Body Injury Survey/FAQs



Before taking our survey, please take a moment and read the information below. We believe that these information will clarify some aspects regarding the phenomenon of foreign body injuries and will also explain the purpose of this survey.
We also believe that it will make you clearly understand why your contribution is important to this project.



What is a foreign body?



So, a "foreign body" is an object or entity that has entered a person’s body through natural orifices (i.e.: nose, ear). In our research we consider just the foreign bodies that have entered a person's body through the nose, ears, mouth, genitals or anal orifice and are located in these places or in the aero digestive tract (i.e.: oesophagus, bronchus, lungs, ...).
All the liquids like detergents, water, alcohol, etc. that can cause suffocation are NOT foreign bodies.
In our research a child is a person younger than 15 years.

What do we mean by "organic" foreign body?

When we talk about "organic" foreign bodies, we refer to objects (substances) that are of animal or plant origin. Such organic foreign bodies are: nuts, seeds, corns, bones, food, insects and so on.

What do we mean by "inorganic" foreign body?

When we refer to "inorganic" foreign bodies, we are taking in consideration ONLY the objects that are NOT derived from a living organism (such as a plant or an animal). A few examples of inorganic foreign bodies are: toys, coins, balls, buttons, stones, pins and so on.

Why are we studying foreign body injuries?

Because choking (the suffocation due to the aspiration/ingestion of a foreign body) still represents one of the most important causes of death in children. Moreover, because some objects deserve special attention for their harmful potential effect like batteries that need prompt removal because after the ingestion they release some acids that can corrode the oesophagus. And last but not least, because in relation to the nature, localization and grade of obstruction, foreign body may produce a wide range of clinical symptom. In our experience 12% of children had complications.

Why did we set up this research

The aim of this research is to collect and study injuries due to ingestion/insertion/aspiration/inhalation of foreign bodies in Europe and beyond. From previous researches we found out that a great number (48,9%) of foreign body injuries happened in presence of parents. Therefore we believe that parents could neglect the risk that their children faces when they manipulate small objects and when they eat some kind of foods (i.e. nuts). This is the reason why our research focuses not only on the knowledge of the children’s characteristics (e.g. age, gender) and the hospital details (if the children were hospitalized, how the object was extracted, in which department children were hospitalized, how many days children stayed in the hospital, etc.) but also on the object’s characteristics and other information about the circumstances that lead to the injury (e.g. the activity of the child before the accident, the presence of parents at the moment of the accident, etc.).

Why is your contribution important

Few studies were conducted on the causes and the circumstances of these kind of accidents. There are no researches carried out among consumers but just in hospitals. You and your family could contribute to this research in order to help us to understand which kind of measures could be taken for the construction of industrial objects that could be harmful for your children and how can you be informed about the dangerousness of some products.

How could you help us in this research?

First you could fill in the survey form and in second time you could promote this project in schools, in churches, among your relatives and your friends. The survey form is a set of questions about the injury happened to your children (the object characteristics, the circumstances of the injury, etc.). You can help us to promote our project by speaking to children’ parents, teachers and sport trainers. Your help is effective and gives back much more than the time it takes to fill in the part.

Privacy policy

Because we care about your privacy, all the inserted data will be regarded as anonymous and will be treated respecting the privacy laws empowered by the EU. The usage of the data has only scientific research purpose and only aggregated results will be published.


I have read the privacy policy and I agree to take this survey.