Aspiration of a foreign body, a common pediatric accident, causes about 400 deaths per year in children under 4 years of age in the United States.1 Bronchoscopic extraction of the foreign body was the only standard treatment until 1972, when Burrington and Cotton2 introduced a controversial alternative. These authors reported that 80% of children treated by inhalation of a bronchodilator, followed by postural drainage and percussion, spontaneously coughed out the foreign body without need for bronchoscopy. They advocated continued use of the technique of inhalation-postural drainage for as long as four days before resorting to bronchoscopy for extraction of the foreign body.3

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