This is an extremely rare complication suffered by a 15-year-old American teenager who tested positive for Covid-19. She suffered bilateral paralysis of her vocal cords, causing difficulty breathing and forcing doctors to perform a tracheotomy.
It’s a story she will remember for a long time. A 15-year-old American teenager was admitted to the emergency room at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in the United States, nine days after testing positive for Covid-19.
The reason ? Respiratory distress caused by bilateral paralysis of his vocal cords, an extremely rare complication of the virus. “For a young, healthy and vibrant high school student to suddenly lose the use of one of her cranial nerves to the point of no longer being able to breathe is very unusual.” says Dr. Christopher Hartnick, senior author of the article and chief of pediatric otolaryngology at Mass Eye and Ear in Boston.
A nervous complication responsible for his condition
After observing her condition, examinations revealed that the young girl, who had no previous history, had lost the use of a cranial nerve. Due to lack of results with the speech therapy exercises, the doctors ended up performing a tracheotomy.
Tracheotomy is “ua surgically created opening in the trachea (which had the effect of) relieving the patient’s breathing difficulties. She remained dependent on the tracheostomy for more than 13 months after initial treatment, suggesting that this type of nerve complication may not be temporary.” add the doctors.
A new complication not to be underestimated
For doctors, this new case suggests that we must carefully consider recent Covid-19 contaminations of children and adolescents presenting with breathing, speaking or swallowing disorders shortly afterwards. For Dr Gérald Kierzek, all viruses can cause rare complications. “This complication affecting the vocal cords does not surprise me so much, especially since the virus enters through the respiratory tract. This is not unique to the Covid-19 virus, all viruses can cause rare complications.”