A 39-year-old member asked:
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can paralysis happen during intubation?

5 doctor answers
Dr. Richard O'Leary
29 years experience Anesthesiology
Only in rare cases: Intubation involves using an instrument (called a laryngoscope) to help the health care provider see the vocal cords and trachea. If the patient has an unstable spine in his neck, perhaps from an auto accident, etc, there is a very remote chance that using the laryngoscopes could put strain in the pine and damage the spinal cord. Anesthesiologists are trained how to intubate all patients safely.
Answered on Apr 16, 2015
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18 thanks
Dr. James Sidman
40 years experience Pediatric ENT and Head and Neck Surgery
Part of anesthesia: The anesthesia for intubation will often include a paralytic agent, but it either wears off or can be reversed by the time the person is ready to wake up from anesthesia.
Answered on May 10, 2014
1
1 thank
Dr. Mitchell Zeitler
39 years experience Anesthesiology
Absolutely: This is why pts who have been brought into the trauma centers are at risk--or anyone who has a possible unstable cervical spine (car crash, ski accident). The neck must be left in a neutral position (think cervical collar) and if the airway needs to be secured by intubation one must do it w/o flexing or extending the neck. With the new videoscopes this is usually accomplished easily.
Answered on May 8, 2013
Dr. Orrin Ailloni-Charas
29 years experience Anesthesiology
Yes: Many anesthesiologists use muscle relaxants to paralyze a patient for intubation and surgery. During the time o paralysis, you should be unconscious.
Answered on Sep 14, 2012
Dr. Jordan Fersel
37 years experience Pain Management
No: I think you are a bit confused. Paralysis occurs from one of the medications administered by the anesthesiologist. We do this to relax the facial and laryngeal muscles in order to facilitate intubation. The paralysis is temporary and always wears off...
Answered on Aug 12, 2015
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Non-volitional: Reflex.

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