Difference between revisions of "Traumatic asphyxia"

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Revision as of 16:31, 7 December 2014


  • Normally a result of blunt chest trauma from an MVA [1]

Signs and Symptoms

  • Chest wall bruising or significan tmechanism consistent with thoracic trauma (i.e. seatbelt sign, steering wheel deformity, airb deployment)
  • Arrhythmia


  • Maintain adequate oxygenation > 92%
  • Maintain blood pressure with small fluid boluses if necessary (250cc boluses)
  • Assess for tension pneumothorax if patient hypoxic or hypotensive
  • Prepare for Advanced Airway if patient persistently hypoxic, unable to maintain airway, or has an anticipated poor clinical course


  • Chest Xray
    • although often little diagnostic yield<ref>Cook AD, Klein JS, Rogers FB, et al. Chest radiographs of limited utility in the diagnosis of blunt traumatic aortic laceration. J Trauma. May 2001;50(5):843-7</ref
    • used to assess for gross Pneumothorax, Rib fracture, or mediastinal widening concerning for Aortic Dissection or Pulmonary Contusion
  • CT with IV contrast for better assessment of lung and vasculature

Differential Diagnosis

Thoracic Trauma

See Also

Thoracic Trauma Cardiac Contusion


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accidents or unintentional injuries. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/accidental-injury.htm