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August 21, 1972

Potato Chip Laceration of the Throat

Author Affiliations

Pawtucket, RI

JAMA. 1972;221(8):915-916. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200210059021

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To the Editor.—  A 74-year-old woman was seen as an emergency patient because of the sudden onset of hemoptysis. She had been coughing blood for one hour; otherwise she was asymptomatic. There was no history of heart disease, chest pain, dyspnea, leg pains, or previous cough. The heart and lungs appeared to be normal, and the blood pressure was 130/78 mm Hg. Her throat revealed what appeared to be a laceration in the left tonsillar fossa with profuse welling of blood. An attempt to stop the bleeding by pressure with a cotton-tipped applicator failed. She continued to cough frank blood several times during the examination.Questioning at this time failed to elicit an obvious cause of the bleeding. However, as she was about to leave the office, she suddenly remembered that she had eaten several potato chips prior to the onset of bleeding.My impression at this time was a