Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 115-118

Accidental oropharyngeal impalement injury in children: A report of two cases

1 Department of Emergency Medicine, Kurashiki Central Hospital, Okayama, Japan
2 Department of General Medicine, Kurashiki Central Hospital, Okayama, Japan
3 Department of Medical Research and Education, Kurashiki Central Hospital, Okayama, Japan

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Akira Kuriyama
Department of General Medicine, Kurashiki Central Hospital, Okayama
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-2700.145403

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Impalement injuries in children may be deeper and more complicated than anticipated. We experienced two cases of accidental impalement injuries, one was through the oral cavity and the other was to the neck. We review these cases and the management of these types of injuries. Case series. In case 1, a 20-month-old girl fell from the table with a toothbrush in her mouth. She was conscious, without any apparent neurologic or vascular injuries. Examination revealed a 2 mm laceration with a small hematoma in the right posterior pharyngeal wall. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CECT) revealed an air tract penetrating between the mandibular ramus and cervical vertebrae, passing by the carotid sheath, and reaching under the skin of the right posterior neck. Surgical emphysema was extended from the pharynx to the mediastinum. In case 2, a 3-year-old girl fell while holding a pencil. Physical examination revealed a 5 mm laceration in front of her right ear lobe accompanied by a small hematoma. Her facial movement was asymmetric, and she could not close her right eye. CECT showed swelling of the right parotid gland with heterogeneous enhancement and free air just in front of the right carotid sheath, which suggested the object penetrated through the parotid gland. A diagnosis of peripheral facial nerve injury was made. Physicians need to be aware of the potentially life-threatening complications of impalement injuries in children, as well as the specific complications related to proximity to specific anatomic structures.

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