Foreign Bodies In The Larynx And Tracheobronchial Tree

Sources: A Manual Of Peroral Endoscopy And Laryngeal Surgery

The protective reflexes preventing the entrance of foreign bodies into

the lower air passages are: (1) The laryngeal closing reflex and (2)

the bechic reflex. Laryngeal closing for normal swallowing consists

chiefly in the tilting and the closure of the upper laryngeal orifice.

The ventricular bands help but slightly; and the epiglottis and the

vocal cords little, if at all. The gauntlet to be run by foreign

bodies entering the tracheobronchial tree is composed of:

1. Epiglottis.

2. Upper laryngeal orifice.

3. Ventricular bands.

4. Vocal cords.

5. Bechic blast.

The epiglottis acts somewhat as a fender. The superior laryngeal

aperture, composed of a pair of movable ridges of tissue, has almost a

sphincteric action, in addition to a tilting movement. The ventricular

bands can approximate under powerful stimuli. The vocal cords act

similarly. The one defect in the efficiency of this barrier, is the

tendency to take a deep inspiration preparatory to the cough excited

by the contact of a foreign body.