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Laryngeal Injury and Pneumomediastinum Due to Minor Blunt Neck Trauma: Case Report.

Authors
  • Kuniyoshi, Yasutaka1
  • Kamura, Azusa1
  • Yasuda, Sumie1
  • Tashiro, Makoto1
  • Toriyabe, Yoichiro2
  • 1 Department of Pediatrics, Tsugaruhoken Medical CO-OP Kensei Hospital, Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan. , (Japan)
  • 2 Department of Intensive Care, Tsugaruhoken Medical CO-OP Kensei Hospital, Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan. , (Japan)
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Journal of emergency medicine
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2017
Volume
52
Issue
4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2016.10.009
PMID: 27818032
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

We describe the case of an 8-year-old boy with laryngeal injury and pneumomediastinum due to minor blunt neck trauma. He presented to the emergency department complaining of odynophagia and hoarseness, but without respiratory distress. Emphysema was seen between the trachea and vertebral body on initial cervical spine x-ray study, and flexible laryngoscopy revealed erythema and mild edema of both the right vocal cord and the arytenoid region. He recovered with conservative management only. WHY SHOULD AN EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN BE AWARE OF THIS?: We conclude that it is important to recognize subtle evidence of laryngeal injury secondary to blunt neck trauma to ensure early diagnosis. Initial cervical spine x-ray assessment should exclude both cervical spine fracture and local emphysema after blunt neck trauma. If patients with blunt neck trauma have evidence of a pneumomediastinum, the clinician should consider the possibility of aerodigestive injury.

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