WHILE many improvements in surgical and anesthetic techniques have made the tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy an even safer procedure than in previous years, fatal complications still occur. Each year in the United States, about 300 persons die during the operation or as a direct result of it.1 Many of these deaths are preventable. The following case report demonstrates an unusual complication which may be anticipated by a more comprehensive preoperative evaluation.
Report of a Case
A 7-year-old Negro girl was admitted to Charity Hospital of Louisiana at New Orleans on Jan 28, 1964, for a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. She had a three-year history of recurrent tonsillitis, chronic otitis media, and mouth breathing. In July 1961, this operation was considered but was deferred because of a 31% hematocrit value. In December 1961, the patient had a positive sickle cell preparation. She was next seen at Charity Hospital on Nov 5, 1963,