Efficacy of two different types of throat packs
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Post-operative sore throat is a common minor complication following general anaesthesia via endotracheal intubation. Pharyngeal packing has often been implicated in this minor anaesthetic complication. In maxillo-facial and oral surgery, two types of throat packs are commonly used namely ribbon gauze and tampons. In order to establish the efficacy of these two types of throat packs a prospective, randomised, clinical study was conducted. The objectives of the study were threefold: to investigate the effect of the two different types of throat packs on the incidence of post-operative sore throat, to determine the quality of seal provided by the two different types of throat packs and finally, to formulate a faculty protocol. The study consisted of 70 patients undergoing third molar surgery. All the patients were intubated via endotracheal intubation and had a throat pack placed. Patients were also randomly selected and allocated to two groups. One group had ribbon gauze while the other group had a tampon as a throat pack. The study reflected no statistically significant difference in the incidence of postoperative sore throat between the two groups. It was interesting to note that the symptoms of sore throat resolved quicker with the use of tampons. On the other hand, the ribbon gauze provided a better pharyngeal seal.