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Question: Trauma

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You are seeing a 3 year old who sustained a 2cm laceration to the neck from a jagged edge on a piece of metal play equipment at a local park. 

Which of the following is true of penetrating neck trauma?
5 votes

pemsou5_wp • April 13, 2021

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  1. Kelly April 14, 2021 - 9:39 pm Reply

    A) The emergency physician should use violation of the platysma muscle to define a penetrating neck injury requiring work-up and surgical consult
    The platysma is a thin muscle layer just below the skin that covers the entire anterolateral neck. Violation of the platysma defines penetrating neck injury (vs. superficial skin laceration). Patients with platysma violation should be seen by a surgeon and undergo work-up as recommended. The traditional zones may not be applicable to children, who have shorter necks and larger heads. The initial study of choice for suspected vascular injury is CT angiogram. Penetrating neck injuries are much more common in adults. Any impaled foreign body should only be removed by a surgeon, preferably in the O.R.

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