At the beginning of the paralytic stage of poliomyelitis, many patients with paralysis of the lower cranial nerves have difficulty in swallowing. This condition is seen more frequently in the hospital than in private practice. This may be because inability to swallow is an alarming symptom and, when it occurs, the parents request hospitalization for the patient. One of the questions we were frequently asked was whether the patient would be able to swallow again. Based on our experience in the past, we always gave a good prognosis. However, when some of the patients were unable to swallow week after week, we turned to the literature for information. The available data on the subject were very meager and for that reason we present our observations.
During the period from July 1 to Dec. 1, 1933, there were 123 patients with cranial nerve lesions due to poliomyelitis admitted to the Willard