Throat packs are documented to cause airway obstruction. There have several instances in the literature exploring obstruction of airway and other complications by pharyngeal packs. They are commonly associated with throat pain and mucosal injury. Besides their main use to prevent aspiration, throat packs can also lead to complications e.g. retained/forgotten throat packs, oedema, dysphagia, choking & hypoxia. In one randomized controlled trial throat packs were found to cause severe throat pain.
It is important to note though that the safety profile and utility of pharyngeal packs is still inconclusive and unproven. What is conclusive so far however is that they are responsible for throat pain.This survey was conducted to establish a pattern of prevalent practice of throat pack documentation in the perioperative periods in the Anaesthetic Departments in the Merseyside Region in the United Kingdom.