Tension pneumothorax secondary to grass head aspiration

T. P. Newson, C. S. Parshuram, R. G. Berkowitz, A. W. Auldist, P. J. Robinson*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    Aspiration of inflorescence or grass heads (seed head of grasses) often presents with atypical signs and symptoms because grass heads have a tendency to rapidly migrate to the periphery of the lung. If this is not recognized, it can lead to delay in diagnosis and serious complications. Removal with rigid bronchoscopy maybe difficult, and surgery is often needed. We report a case of a seven-month-old child who had a delayed diagnosis of grass head aspiration and subsequently presented with a life threatening tension pneumothorax. This case highlights the importance of obtaining a detailed history in cases of foreign body aspiration and the need to include it in the differential diagnosis of unexplained respiratory symptoms, especially those of sudden onset in children.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)287-289
    Number of pages3
    JournalPediatric Emergency Care
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 1998


    • Grass head aspiration
    • Tension pneumothorax


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