Pre-hospital management of penetrating neck injuries: a scoping review of current evidence and guidance | Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine | Full Text

Penetrating injuries to the neck pose a unique challenge to clinicians due to the proximity of multiple significant anatomical structures with little protective soft tissue coverage. Injuries to this area, whilst low in incidence, are potentially devastating. Respiratory, vascular, gastro-oesophageal and neurological structures may all be involved, either in isolation or combination. These injuries are particularly difficult to manage in the resource poor, often austere and/or remote, pre-hospital environment. A systematic scoping review of the literature was conducted to evaluate the current available research pertaining to managing this injury profile, prior to the patient arriving in the emergency department. The available research is discussed in sections based on the commonly used trauma management acronym ‘cABCD’ (catastrophic haemorrhage, Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Disability) to facilitate a systematic approach and clinical evaluation familiar to clinicians. Based on the available reviewed evidence, we have proposed a management algorithm for this cohort of patients. From this we plan to instigate a Delphi process to develop a consensus statement on the pre-hospital management of this challenging presentation.
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