The inhalation of foreign bodies gives rise to a symptom picture that will depend on the nature and size of the foreign body, its location in the airways, the age of the patient, and the presence of prior lung affections. Non-invasive removal of such bodies is often enough to resolve both acute and chronic symptomatologies. In view of the striking nature of the symptoms and the imminent risk of complications or exacerbation associated with the continued presence of foreign bodies and the therapeutic strategy to be adopted, many workers consider that treatment should be given in a suitable environment, with proper equipment and an experienced staff. Reference is made to a personal series collected at the Chieti and Bologna resuscitation centres in describing the criteria followed in the diagnosis and management of cases of recently inhaled or latent foreign bodies, and their parenchymal complications. Non-invasive management by means of direct bronchoscopy is advised in all cases except those in which the subsequent intervention of serious, evident and irreversible parenchymal alterations make surgery inevitable.