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Iatrogenic tracheal laceration causing asphyxia.

Authors
  • Pazanin, Leo
  • Misak, Vilka Bekavac
  • Goreta, Nedjeljka
  • Mareković, Zvonimir
  • Petrovecki, Vedrana
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of forensic sciences
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2008
Volume
53
Issue
5
Pages
1185–1187
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2008.00827.x
PMID: 18643864
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Endotracheal intubation is a simple, rapid, and safe technique that is being used as a standard procedure for airway management. However, airway injury during endotracheal intubation could be a significant source of morbidity or even mortality for patients and a source of liability for physicians as well. We report an unusual case of fatal tracheal occlusion by intraluminal blood clot complicating endotracheal intubation. The patient, a 62-year-old woman, with renovascular hypertension and incipient renal failure was scheduled for renal autotransplantation. The surgery was uneventful but the postoperative course was complicated with a lethal airway obstruction. At autopsy a linear longitudinal tracheal laceration was identified with an intraluminal blood clot obstructing the tracheal lumen. Tracheal laceration as a cause of death is a rare and potentially fatal complication of endotracheal intubation with intratracheal bleeding, clot formation, tracheal occlusion, and subsequent asphyxia.

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