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CASE REPORT
Subcutaneous emphysema to the head and neck: an unlikely traumatic origin

Summary

Subcutaneous emphysema to the neck represents a rare entity mainly derived from iatrogenic and traumatic origin. We report a case of a subcutaneous emphysema resulted from an intraoral injury aiming to emphasise the significance of precise medical history to identify an unlikely mechanism. A 40-year-old female patient was presented with subcutaneous emphysema extending from the region underneath the left eye up to the submandibular area of the neck. The patient complained of painful, swollen neck. The patient mentioned that the symptoms began after an intraoral injury accidentally caused by the use of a high-pressure water jet device meant for car wash. The patient was managed conservatively and was discharged after 2 days. This case highlights the urgency for clinical suspicion for unlikely mechanisms. Moreover, the manufacturer companies should alert and give official warning for the contingency of injury due to incorrect or careless usage.

  • ear, nose and throat/otolaryngology
  • trauma

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