Airway management of an open penetrating neck injury Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • AbstractAlthough penetrating neck injuries (PNIs) represent a small subset of patients presenting to the emergency department (ED), they can result in significant morbidity and mortality. The approach to airway management in PNI varies widely according to clinical presentation and local practice, such that global management statements are lacking. Although rapid sequence intubation (RSI) may be safe in most patients with PNI, the high-risk subset (10%) of patients with laryngotracheal injury require particularly judicious airway management. It is not known if RSI is safe in such patients, nor has there been reported use of videolaryngoscopy in patients with open PNI. Established principles of airway management in patients with an open airway injury include the avoidance of both positive pressure bag-mask ventilation and blind tube passage and the early consideration of a surgical airway. Because this high-risk subset may not be clinically apparent on initial presentation in the ED, such guiding principles apply to all patients with PNI until the nature of the injury is more accurately defined. In this report, we present the case of a patient who presented to the ED with a zone II open PNI, which occurred as a result of a stab wound.

publication date

  • January 2015