Sunday, April 22, 2018

Laryngospasm, Additional Info on

Thanks to one of my regular readers with Kennedy’s Disease, I have some additional information on my recent post about Laryngospasm. Hearing the sound of the person gasping for air on the videos always brings me back to those initial few times when it jerked my awake at night.

Bastian Medical Media has a website on the subject with a couple of good videos as well as an audio description of the process. In the second video, Dr. Bastian introduces the straw technique that can be practiced ahead of time to help minimize the impact of the spasm when it occurs. Below is an introduction to the spasm. You can read the entire article and watch the video by clicking on this Bastian Medical Media link.


“A sudden reflexive closure of the larynx occurring when an individual is trying to breathe. Laryngopasm occurs more frequently in persons who have vocal cord paralysis or in those experiencing sensory neuropathic cough; it is also seen as an aftermath of an upper respiratory infection.A typical laryngospasm episode begins abruptly and lasts approximately one minute. The individual often makes loud inspiratory noises, the loudness of which abates gradually over the first minute or two. The voice may be choked off during the same time, making it difficult to speak. Laryngospasm is terrifying not only to the person experiencing it but also to family, friends, or strangers observing the episode. An attack may awaken its victim from sound sleep. Rarely, an individual will experience a series of laryngospasms, making it appear that they are having one much longer spasm…” 

There is also a web page in Anesthesiology website on the subject. I was unaware this spasm can be an issue when a person is coming out of surgery. Below is an introduction to the topic. You can read the entire article by clicking on this Anesthesiology website link.

Laryngospasm-The Best Treatment

“Almost 40 years ago, Dr. N. P. Guadagni showed me a technique for prompt termination of laryngospasm, which I have used countless times with complete success. Because I have used the techniques so often myself and have taught it to hundreds of residents and nurses. However, a thorough literature search has not revealed any mention of it. The technique involves placing the middle finger of each hand in what I term the laryngospasm notch. This notch is behind the lobule of the pinna of each ear. It is bounded anteriorly by the ascending ramus of the mandible adjacent to the condyle, posteriorly by the mastoid process of the temporal bone, and cephalad by the base of the skull (Figure 1). The therapist presses very firmly inward toward the base of the skull with both fingers, while at the same time lifting the mandible at a right angle to the plane of the body (i.e., forward displacement of the mandible or “jaw thrust”). Properly performed, it will convert laryngospasm within one or two breaths to laryngeal stridor and in another few breaths to unobstructed respirations…”

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