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Respiratory papillomatosis: a rare cause of collapse in a young adult presenting to the emergency department
  1. C D C Carroll1,
  2. N C Saunders2
  1. 1Department of Anaesthesia, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL, UK
  2. 2Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, St Mary's Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr C D C Carroll;


Treating patients with rapidly deteriorating respiratory compromise in the emergency room is difficult and stressful. The patient in front of you is rapidly progressing towards total cardiorespiratory collapse and you may have no idea why. A case is reported of an adult presenting with impending cardiorespiratory collapse attributed to asthma who actually had upper airway obstruction caused by laryngeal papillomata. This case report reinforces the importance of airway assessment, gives an overview of respiratory papillomatosis, and reiterates both the non-surgical and surgical approach to the difficult airway.

  • respiratory papillomatosis

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