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February 1966

Transient Pharyngeal Incoordination in the Newborn

Author Affiliations

From the departments of pediatrics (Dr. Frank) and radiology (Dr. Gatewood), Johns Hopkins Hospital and University, Baltimore. Dr. Frank is a staff scientist, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, in training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Am J Dis Child. 1966;111(2):178-181. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1966.02090050110008

IN RECENT YEARS, etiological considerations have assumed increasing importance in the management of respiratory distress in newborn infants.1 Each of the multiple causes of respiratory distress carries its own therapeutic and prognostic implications. An infrequent and rarely considered cause is transient incoordination of the swallowing mechanism.

Over a period of one year we have seen three newborn infants who exhibited respiratory distress secondary to a functional abnormality in swallowing. Each of these infants developed aspiration pneumonitis which responded to therapy, and each developed the ability to swallow normally by 2 weeks of age.

Report of Cases  Case 1.—This was the fifth child born to a diabetic Negro woman. The last trimester of her pregnancy was complicated by excessive weight gain and edema. The infant was born one month prior to the expected date of confinement and weighed 3.8 kg (8 lb 6 oz). He breathed and cried immediately but

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