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October 14, 1974

Laryngectomee Tracheostomee Communication

Author Affiliations

Latter-Day Saints Hospital Salt Lake City

JAMA. 1974;230(2):208. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240020016006

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To the Editor.—  Communication with a patient who is intubated or who has a tracheostomy and is receiving ventilatory support is difficult. Even alert patients find writing cumbersome; emotions are best conveyed by speaking. We have found the artificial larynx to be helpful in restoring spoken communication to many tracheostomy patients. This device, originally designed for laryngectomy patients, has proven effective and practical except when an oral endotracheal tube exists (Figures). Successful use of the artificial larynx requires coordination with patient mouth movement as well as proper placement on the neck. Although the technique cannot be used in all patients, its further application in intensive care units can be helpful.