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March 1966

The Nonasthmatic CrowMechanical Obstruction of the Trachea in Young Adults

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School and the General Surgical Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

Arch Intern Med. 1966;117(3):394-396. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.03870090078013

CROWING respirations herald a pediatric emergency; stridor signals the gerontologist to begin a diagnostic evaluation.

Pity the adult in his prime. Everyone knows that "All that wheezes is not asthma", but just the same, the wheezing young or middle-aged patient is likely to be treated for asthma without much effort being made at excluding other possibilities. This way lies danger.

Report of Cases 

Case 1.  —After a six month period of depression, a 21-year-old woman attempted suicide by taking sleeping pills. She was resuscitated in the Emergency Ward with assisted positive pressure delivered through an endotracheal tube. Because she appeared to be waking up quickly, the service in charge was reluctant to replace the endotracheal tube with a tracheostomy. The tube, therefore, stayed in place for over two days before a tracheostomy was performed. The patient recovered quickly and signed out of the hospital against advice.She was seen by

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