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Revista Médica del Uruguay

On-line version ISSN 1688-0390


YIC, Christian Daniel; PEREYRA BORZOMI, Marcelo Héctor; PONTET, Julio César  and  CANCELA, Mario. Hematoma retrofaríngeo: a propósito de un caso. Rev. Méd. Urug. [online]. 2014, vol.30, n.4, pp.261-265. ISSN 1688-0390.

Abstract Retropharyngeal edema caused by trauma is a rather unusual clinical entity. Given its close proximity to the upper airway and being a lesion that occupies space in the deep planes of the neck it may result in a fast installation of acute respiratory distress. The study presents the case of a male patient of 72 years old who suffered a car accident, where two motorbikes took part, and he was not wearing a helmet. He was seen in the site by the mobile emergency services who found: traumatic brain injury (TBI) with no unconsciousness. He was released to go home. The patient consulted again from his domicile for difficulties in breathing of rapid installation and neck swelling. He was assessed by emergency services in his domicile which found: polypnea, stridor and dysphonia. He was sent to the Emergency Unit at the Clinicas University Hospital in an ambulance where orotracheal intubation was performed, he received mechanical ventilation. The scan diagnosis was retropharyngeal edema and he was admitted in the ICU. Upon evolution a surgical tracheostomy was performed and a conservative treatment resulted in a favorable evolution. Traumatic retropharyngeal edema is rather an unusual condition with a potential or real severity that needs to be known to avoid delaying diagnosis. Once the airway is ensured two options are possible: draining the area or clinical observation. The surgical option has evidenced no advantages when compared to a conservative treatment.


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