Author(s): Symbas PN, Justicz AG, Ricketts RR
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Abstract Tracheobronchial rupture from blunt trauma is usually single and transverse but may be longitudinal or complex, a combination of various sites and forms of rupture. From 1970 to 1990, 183 cases of rupture of the airways were reported in the literature: 136 (74\%) transverse, 33 (18\%) longitudinal, and 14 (8\%) complex. During the same 20 years at Grady Memorial Hospital, 6 patients with such injuries were treated. One had complex injury consisting of rupture of the distal trachea and both main bronchi, 1 had a longitudinal tracheal rupture and rupture of the innominate artery, and 4 had a transverse rupture, 1 of whom also had a traumatic false aneurysm of the left pulmonary artery. Cardiopulmonary bypass was used only for the repair of the complex injury, whereas the repair of the left main bronchial rupture associated with a false aneurysm of the left pulmonary artery was done with standby cardiopulmonary bypass. All 6 patients had satisfactory results from the correction of their lesions except 1 child in whom stenosis developed at the rupture site. This study suggests that complex injuries are rarely seen, and their repair is often quite involved. In some of these cases, the use of cardiopulmonary bypass increases the margin of safety during operation and may encourage repair rather than resection of the affected lung.
This article was published in Ann Thorac Surg
and referenced in Emergency Medicine: Open Access