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February 1990

Massive Gastric Distention in the Intubated PatientA Marker for a Defective Airway

Arch Intern Med. 1990;150(2):318-320. doi:10.1001/archinte.1990.00390140062013

• Tracheal intubation is a commonly performed procedure generally associated with a low complication rate. A clinical sign that could lead to early detection of complications could improve management of mechanically ventilated patients. We present two instances of potentially lethal complications that were heralded by the presence of massive gastric distention. This finding should alert physicians that an abnormal communication may exist between the endotracheal tube and the gastrointestinal tract.

(Arch Intern Med. 1990;150:318-320)