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September 1989

Traumatic Retropharyngeal Hematoma

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1989;115(9):1130-1132. doi:10.1001/archotol.1989.01860330120032

• The development of a retropharyngeal hematoma following a whiplash injury is a rare occurrence. The potential for airway compression necessitates rapid assessment and treatment. An 80-year-old man who had been receiving long-term aspirin therapy sustained a retropharyngeal hematoma following a motor vehicle accident. Management consisted of tracheostomy, neck exploration, and evacuation and drainage of the hematoma. To the best of our knowledge, there are less than 20 citations of traumatic retropharyngeal hematoma in the English literature. Retropharyngeal hematoma has been associated with cervical extension/flexion injuries, anticoagulation therapy, great-vessel trauma, and foreign body ingestion.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1989;115:1130-1132)