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November 1957

Management of Injuries of the Neck

Author Affiliations

U. S. A. F.

AMA Arch Surg. 1957;75(5):721. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1957.01280170031016

The stab wound of the neck may involve any one or many of the vital organs in the neck. Fortunately, in stab wounds some of the vital organs often escape injury as they are pushed aside by the stabbing instrument. Bullet or missile wounds of the neck are most serious. The wound of entrance and exit may be small, but the damage done within the neck is often greater than suspected from the external examination. The blasting effect of a small missile may be so great as to involve most of the vital organs within the neck. Crush injuries of the neck have been reported, with rupture of the trachea, esophagus, or vessels without breaking the integrity of the skin. If respiratory embarrassment is noted on initial examination, tracheostomy is indidated. The external appearance of the neck wound is usually grossly misleading, and only with adequate initial exploration of the

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