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September 1950


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology, Yale University School of Medicine.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1950;52(3):341-350. doi:10.1001/archotol.1950.00700030363002

DURING 1949 tracheotomies were done on patients with poliomyelitis in the New Haven Unit of the Grace-New Haven Community Hospital for the first time. The large number of tracheotomies was due both to a higher percentage of patients with severe paralysis requiring tracheotomy and to better understanding of the signs and symptoms of respiratory distress in these patients. The recent excellent articles by Galloway,1 Priest2 and others were instrumental in emphasizing the advantages of tracheotomy and the dangers of unrecognized anoxia. Our experience confirms their observations. Delay or failure to do a tracheotomy may result in needless fatality. We wish to record several pertinent observations.

The otolaryngologist is constantly seeing patients with various respiratory problems—croup, laryngeal cancer, foreign bodies in the air passages and postoperative atelectases. Consequently, he is well able to recognize signs of impending or existing respiratory distress. It is highly desirable, therefore, that the otolaryngologist be consulted

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