To the Editor:
We wish to report another potential use of the nerve stimulator.
A 30-yr-old man was scheduled for a cervical lymph node biopsy with possible neck dissection. He was anesthetized in the usual fashion with midazolam hydrochloride, fentanyl, thiopental, and succinylcholine and the airway secured with an endotracheal tube. The surgeon had requested no muscle relaxation for the surgery. Our surgical colleague had his finger in the patient's mouth when he asked if the patient was paralyzed. One of the authors activated the nerve stimulator over the trigeminal nerve, resulting in the patient closing his mouth firmly.
The surgeon was reassured that the patient was no longer paralyzed, but complained of a sore finger.
Michael Keating, MD
John Brock-Utne, MD, PhD
Department of Anesthesia, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, CA 94305-5115