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August 23, 1976

Gingival and Dental Complications of Orotracheal Intubation

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Laboratory Medicine, Naval Regional Medical Center, San Diego, Calif.

JAMA. 1976;236(8):957-958. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270090051034

WITH increasingly widespread use of endotracheal intubation in neonates, the spectrum of iatrogenic complications enlarges. It includes laryngeal edema and tracheitis,1 subglottic stenosis,2 tracheal stenosis,3 nasal stricture,4 swallowing of the tube,5 laryngotracheobronchitis, mucosal and submucosal necrosis, and hoarseness.6 This report concerns the gingival and dental complications following the use of an orotracheal tube in an immature infant.

Report of a Case  An 850-gm twin boy was born to a 34-year-old gravida 2 para 1 woman. The pregnancy, labor, and delivery were uncomplicated. The infant was in immediate respiratory distress, reflected by a oneminute APGAR score of 1. A chest roentgenogram demonstrated the reticulogranular pattern of idiopathic respiratory distress syndrome. Because of the small diameter of the infant's nares, an orotracheal tube was inserted. The tube, measuring 7 cm in length and 0.3 cm in diameter, was the smallest available in the newborn intensive care