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AANA J. 1999 Feb;67(1):49-52.

Postoperative sore throat: incidence and severity after the use of lidocaine, saline, or air to inflate the endotracheal tube cuff.

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Anesthesia Care Team, Inc., Ocala, Florida, USA.


Postoperative sore throat occurs in up to 90% of intubated patients and is the most common complaint of patients after endotracheal intubation. A recent study suggested that the use of lidocaine to inflate the endotracheal tube cuff would decrease the incidence of postoperative sore throat. The purpose of this prospective randomized study was to compare the incidence and severity of sore throat after using lidocaine, saline, or air to inflate the endotracheal tube cuff. Variables typically associated with postoperative sore throat, including endotracheal cuff design, endotracheal tube size, intubation technique, laryngoscopy blade, airway placement, suctioning technique, and anesthetic technique, were controlled. The participants were all ASA physical status I, II, or III, female, adult patients undergoing general endotracheal anesthesia for gynecological procedures. The researcher administered the verbal analogue scale, Melzack's Present Pain Intensity Scale of the McGill Pain Questionnaire, to the 75 participants at two intervals, 1 to 3 hours postoperatively and 22 to 25 hours postoperatively, to assess postoperative sore throat. Analysis using the Kruskal-Wallis test suggested that there was no statistical difference in postoperative sore throat among the 3 groups. Lidocaine, saline, and air had similar effects on postoperative sore throat.

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