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Open Access Case report

Residual foreign body in the neck after trauma results in the delayed rupture of the common carotid and internal jugular vein: a case report

Yan Luo*, Hui Yuan and Zhong Sheng Cao

Author Affiliations

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Soochow, Jiangsu Province, China

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Journal of Medical Case Reports 2013, 7:13  doi:10.1186/1752-1947-7-13

Published: 10 January 2013

Abstract

Introduction

Trauma and foreign body residue occurring in different settings are common in the neck. Some small injuries go unrecognized, and vascular injuries caused by the sharp penetrating trauma of a foreign body are very dangerous. Without early diagnosis and treatment, foreign body residue remains a major cause of mortality.

Case presentation

A six-cm piece of wooden chopstick was not initially detected in the neck of a 24-year-old Chinese man presenting with a slight bleeding wound after a brawl accident. Three days later, the patient had an expanding neck hematoma and shortness of breath. Computed tomography revealed a dense shadow in the soft tissue of the left side of the patient’s neck, and surgical exploration found that a residual broken chopstick had resulted in a delayed rupture of the common carotid artery and internal jugular vein.

Conclusion

A residual foreign body should be seriously considered after neck trauma because it can result in a lethal hemorrhage originating from a delayed rupture of blood vessels.

Keywords:
Common carotid; Foreign body; Internal jugular vein; Trauma