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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 8(3); 1997 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 1997;8(3): 429-433.
Traumatic Asphyxia: 3 Case Report
Young Jin Cheon, Sung Woo Lee, Yong Ju Lee, Jung Taek Kim, Kyung Sun, Kwang Ho Kim, Kwang Je Baek, Jun Sig Kim
Traumatic asphyxia is a clinical symptom complex characterized by craniofacial cyanosis, subconjunctival hemorrhage, and head and neck vascular engorgement due to sudden compressive injury on the thoracic cage. It is occasionally combined with mental deterioration, lung contusion, and edema. It is considered due to increased intrathoracic pressure in state of closed epiglottis. Recently, we had experienced three cases of traumatic asphyxia of which clinical courses were somewhat different. The first case developed by a compression between a elevator and the ground while the victim did not realized the accident happening, and the patient showed nonspecific facial edema and ecchymosis but mental deterioration and ultimate respiratory failure. The second case by a compression between cars, while the impending accident was noticed by the victim, showed full-blown asphyxia without mental or respiratory symptoms. The last case by forceful coughing and vomiting showed facial edema and ecchymosis without any other symptoms. Hospital courses of all cases were uneventful. We believe that 'fear response' or 'closure of the epiglottis' might be an important mechanism on developing symptom of traumatic asphyxia.
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