A Rare Case of Lingual Necrosis Secondary to Prolonged Endotracheal Intubation

Samran Haider, Kartik Kumar, Cassondra Cramer, Christopher Garcia, Michelle El-Hosni, Diane Levine


We present a unique case of partial necrosis and cleft of the tongue caused by an endotracheal tube, and highlight the importance of endotracheal tube positioning in patients requiring prolonged intubation. A 53-year-old woman underwent endotracheal intubation secondary to respiratory failure due to altered mental status caused by alcohol intoxication. After extubation, she complained of tongue pain and was found to have cleft tongue and necrosis secondary to prolonged intubation. On follow-up, the patient’s tongue pain improved with oral analgesics and the tongue was well healed on examination. Tongue necrosis due to compression by an endotracheal tube during prolonged intubation is unusual; however, those involved in the care of intubated patients should consider the potential for this complication. This unique case of tongue necrosis highlights the importance of proper endotracheal tube positioning during prolonged intubation.

J Med Cases. 2016;7(10):429-431
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/jmc2616w


Intubation; Necrosis; Tongue; Alcoholic intoxication; Complications; Intratracheal intubation

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