External penetrating wounds of the neck leading to pharyngeal perforations are relatively uncommon. The small area of the neck contains the vital vascular, aerodigestive and nervous structures, which are difficult to access surgically. Pharyngeal perforations are challenging to treat, especially in children, as primary wound inspection may be difficult, leading to life-threatening complications like retropharyngeal abscesses, mediastinitis or airway compromise. The following is a case report of a 5-year-old girl who had a road traffic accident causing a neck laceration with a pharyngeal tear, which was only identified during emergency neck exploration in the operating room. A review of known literature and a proposed algorithm for managing penetrating neck injuries with pharyngeal injury is described.
- otolaryngology / ENT
- paediatric intensive care
- nose and throat/otolaryngology
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Contributors SD and JL had conceptualised the idea and created the manuscript. RH had corrected the manuscript and the work was approved by AA.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.