Traumatic hypopharyngeal perforation from football helmet chinstrap: A case report
AdvisorNyberg, Sue M.
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Brown, E.; Ntelekos, J. 2021. Traumatic hypopharyngeal perforation from football helmet chinstrap: A case report -- In Proceedings: 17th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University
Hypopharyngeal perforation is a rare but potentially serious injury, typically results from instrumentation or external penetrating trauma. Perforation following blunt trauma is even more rare. Here we describe an unusual case of a hypopharyngeal perforation believed to have been caused by a dislodged chin strap of a football helmet. Perforations are most likely to occur at the hypopharyngeal-esophageal junction. Common symptoms that should prompt suspicion of hypopharyngeal injury include: subcutaneous emphysema, chest or neck pain, odynophagia, dysphagia, dysphonia, and hemoptysis. There is no consensus regarding the best diagnostic study for a suspected hypopharyngeal perforation, but available literature suggests some combination of plain radiographs, computed tomography scans, fluoroscopy, and nasopharyngolaryngoscopy in evaluating patients for this injury. The absence of management guidelines for a pharyngoesophageal injury, particularly for optimal operative management, is very likely a reflection of the infrequent incidence of these injuries. Recently, there has been a trend toward nonoperative treatment which includes broad spectrum antibiotics, nil per os status, parenteral nutrition, and follow up studies. The unique mechanism of injury seen in this case demonstrates the need for high index of suspicion when assessing a patient with pertinent symptoms. Hypopharyngeal perforations can be a source of serious morbidity and even cause mortality if not diagnosed and treated expeditiously.
Presented to the 17th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) held online, Wichita State University, April 2, 2021.
Research completed in the Department of Physician Assistant, College of Health Professions