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Ann Emerg Med. 2010 Apr;55(4):367-9. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2009.07.009. Epub 2009 Aug 20.

Tongue engorgement associated with prolonged use of the King-LT laryngeal tube device.

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  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine and Denver Paramedic Division, Denver Health, University of Colorado, Denver, CO, USA.


We report a case of massive tongue engorgement associated with the placement of a laryngeal tube device (King Airway-LTS-D EMS). Our patient developed isolated, massive lingual swelling approximately 3 hours after the out-of-hospital placement of a laryngeal tube. Swelling resolved 2 days later in the ICU after fiberoptic-guided exchange of the laryngeal tube for an endotracheal tube. It is most likely that the observed swelling was due to obstruction of venous drainage from the tongue by the oropharyngeal balloon. Other etiologies for lingual swelling such as angioedema cannot be definitively ruled out but are less likely to have caused the patient's tongue engorgement.

Copyright (c) 2009 American College of Emergency Physicians. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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