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January 1965

Contact Dermatitis Complicating Tracheostomy: Causative Role of Aqueous Solution of Benzalkonium Chloride

Author Affiliations

Emanuel Padnos, MD, 5631 W Madison, Chicago, Ill 60644.; Attending Physician, Pediatrics Department, Mount Sinai Hospital, Clinical Assistant Professor, The Chicago Medical School (Dr. Padnos); Attending Physician and Head of Department of Otolaryngology, and Attending Physician in Head and Neck Surgery, Mount Sinai Hospital, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, The Chicago Medical School (Dr. Horwitz); and Senior Pediatric Resident, Mount Sinai Hospital (Dr. Wunder).

Am J Dis Child. 1965;109(1):90-91. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1965.02090020092012

In the infant with croup, difficulties in extubation are sometimes experienced for a long time after tracheostomy. This presents a problem to the physician as well as the child's parents. The expense of prolonged hospitalization of the infant may be a serious drain on a limited income. On the other hand, few parents, particularly in families with more than one child, are equipped to take care of an infant with a tracheotomy tube that must be frequently aspirated and changed.

An instance is reported in which the difficulty seemed to be due to contact dermatitis of the tracheal mucosa caused by the disinfectant used for sterilizing the plastic catheter, and the simple measures by which the difficulty was overcome are presented in the hope that one problem complicating a valuable procedure may be eliminated.

Report of a Case  The patient, a 3-month-old boy, one of premature twins, was admitted to