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Incidence of postoperative sore throat and cough: comparison of a polyvinylchloride tube and an armoured tube


One of the common postoperative complications is sore throat and cough. A number of factors may be responsible, namely direct trauma by the airway, the endotracheal tube, and mucosal damage caused by pressure by the cuff hyperinflated by N2O. This complication is minor but distressing to an otherwise healthy patient; different strategies have been proposed to prevent it. They include changes in the technique of intubation, in the endotracheal tube material, and lower cuff pressure.


Eighty female patients ASA status I and II, scheduled for elective caesarean sections, were divided randomly into two groups. See Table 1. The same anaesthetist performed all the intubations and extubations. The patients were interviewed on the day of operation and on the following 2 days about cough and sore throat. See Table 2.

Table 1 Demographic data
Table 2 Frequency of cough and sore throat


The frequency of postoperative sore throat and cough was greater with the use of the polyvinylchloride endotracheal tube.


The study demonstrates that the use of a polyvinylchloride endotracheal tube was associated with a significantly higher incidence of postoperative sore throat and cough.


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Saleem, J., Athar, S. Incidence of postoperative sore throat and cough: comparison of a polyvinylchloride tube and an armoured tube. Crit Care 12 (Suppl 2), P337 (2008).

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