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February 1953


AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1953;57(2):182-187. doi:10.1001/archotol.1953.00710030201007

SUBCUTANEOUS rupture of the trachea is that type of injury in which there is a tracheal tear (varying in size from 1 mm. to complete transection) without an accompanying break in the overlying skin. Because the perforation is limited to the trachea, air escapes into the surrounding tissues but cannot pass to the outside. Lacking an external exit, this air then travels along fascial planes upward and downward to produce numerous problems in diagnosis and treatment.

The following cases are presented to illustrate the occurrence of subcutaneous injuries of the trachea in children, with two divergent but equally successful plans of therapy.

REPORT OF CASES  Case 1.—T. F., a 6-year-old white girl, was apparently well until she was pushed against an iron fence, receiving a blow across the front of the neck. She subsequently felt pain, tenderness, and a slight swelling in the region of trauma but continued her normal