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June 7, 1971

Vocal Cord Paralysis Following Intubation

JAMA. 1971;216(10):1645-1646. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03180360091022

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To the Editor.—  The report of Holley and Gildea on vocal cord paralysis following endotracheal intubation (215:281, 1971) in surgery leads us to report a case of unilateral vocal cord paralysis following intubation for cardiac arrest.

Report of a Case.—  A 19-year-old boy treated by hemodialysis for one year required revision of the arteriovenous shunt. On the second day of admission he suffered a hyperkalemic cardiac arrest with successful resuscitation. Endotracheal intubation was effected with a No. 34 cuffed rubber tube with the cuff expanded sufficiently to provide an air-tight seal. An MA-1 respirator provided oxygen. Eight hours later he was noted to have absent breath sounds in the left lateral part of the chest and the tube was withdrawn approximately 2 inches, with clinical improvement. The tube was removed after 76 hours, following which the patient complained of a sore throat and hoarseness. He was discharged ten days