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July 1959

Tracheotomy in Burns

AMA Arch Surg. 1959;79(1):45-48. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1959.04320070049008

The therapeutic and prophylactic use of tracheotomy in crushing injuries of the chest and in cases of poliomyelitis and tetanus in which respiratory difficulties or complications require diminution of the dead space of the tracheobronchial tree is well established as an important part of the patient's treatment. The use of a tracheotomy to bypass acute or chronic obstructions of the larynx and as a prophylactic procedure associated with many cases of head and neck surgery is an established fact. However, the use of a tracheotomy in the treatment of thermal injury as either a prophylatic or a therapeutic procedure has not met with widespread acceptance, and here is still considerable disagreement as to both its need and its value.

Thermal injury to the respiratory tract Below the larynx is uncommonly seen even in extensive burns and is difficult to produce experimentally in the absence of actual burning of the nasopharynx

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