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August 1976

Upper Airway Obstruction

Arch Otolaryngol. 1976;102(8):515. doi:10.1001/archotol.1976.00780130109019

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To the Editor.—Dr Lepore's paper on upper airway obstruction induced by warfarin sodium in this issue (p 505) brings to mind a similar case that I encountered 12 years ago at the UCLA Health Sciences Center.

Report of a Case.—An 18-year-old black man with sickle cell disease was admitted to the Head and Neck Surgical Service on an emergency basis from another Los Angeles hospital. The patient had presented in the emergency room of the first hospital with airway obstruction secondary to sublingual swelling, which was thought to be a sublingual abscess. When the area of the suspected abscess was incised, only a small amount of clotted blood could be evacuated, since most of the extravasated blood had diffused into small tissue spaces rather than collecting in a single area. The airway obstruction was not effectively relieved, and it was necessary to perform an emergency tracheostomy. With active

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