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November 24, 1956


JAMA. 1956;162(13):1256. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970300056023

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To the Editor.—  I have been using a simple signal device for more than 10 days to help a patient with bulbar poliomyelitis who had a tracheotomy and who is completely paralyzed. The device enables the patient to signal the nurse or doctor when he is in distress. When both arms and legs are paralyzed and the voice is impaired because of a tracheal catheter, the patient needs help when he feels he is suffocating or has abdominal discomfort or when his heart is giving him trouble. To provide a means of signaling, I taped to the lower lip two small wire prongs of a hearing aid and connected them to a bell buzzer and to four 1 1/2 volt dry cell batteries, so that the tongue could make contact with them and so ring the buzzer. An electronic resistor was introduced among the batteries so that no shock at

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