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Airway management in a displaced comminuted fracture of the mandible and atlas with a vertebral artery injury: A case report  

Paramaswamy, Rathna (Anaesthesiology, Saveetha University)
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Journal of Dental Anesthesia and Pain Medicine / v.18, no.3, 2018 , pp. 183-187 More about this Journal
Complex cervical spine fractures are a serious complications of maxillofacial trauma and associated with high mortality and neurological morbidity. Strict vigilance in preventing further insult to the cervical spine is a crucial step in managing patients who are at risk for neurologic compromise. We report a rare case of a right transverse process of atlas fracture with right-sided vertebral artery injury that was associated with a comminuted fracture of the body and angle of the mandible, which restricted mouth opening. Airway management was performed by an awake fiber-optic nasotracheal intubation, where neck movement was avoided with a cervical collar. Vertebral artery injuries may have disastrous consequences, such as basilar territory infarction and death, and should be suspected in patients with head and neck trauma. After mandibular plating, the patient was on cervical collar immobilization for 12 weeks and anti-coagulant therapy.
Mandibular Fractures; Restricted Mouth Opening; Spinal Fractures; Vertebral Artery Injury;
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