June 1970

The Management of Traumatic Tracheo-esophageal Fistula Caused by Blunt Chest Trauma

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles; Panorama City, Calif
From the Department of Surgery, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles (Dr. Chapman), and the Kaiser Foundation Hospital, Panorama City, Calif (Dr. Braun).

Arch Surg. 1970;100(6):681-684. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1970.01340240049010

Tracheo-esophageal fistula following blunt thoracic trauma has been reported. Presence of a fistula must be anticipated when a young male patient has sustained blunt thoracic trauma, usually in an automobile accident. Some time after the third day the patient develops difficulty swallowing and appears to aspirate. An aggressive diagnostic approach relying primarily on endoscopy to precisely localize the site of the fistula is emphasized. Early primary repair of the fistula is recommended.