Tracheal rupture may occur as a result of blunt or penetrating chest trauma.


Patient selection: blunt or penetrating chest trauma


Clinical features:

(1) pneumomediastinum

(2) pneumothorax

(3) subcutaneous emphysema of face and neck

(4) variable respiratory compromise


The rupture may range from a small tear to partial or complete transection.


Diagnosis can be made by:

(1) bronchoscopy (gold standard)

(2) CT or MRI


Management can be conservative or surgical depending on the severity. Standard mechanical ventilation prior to repair is avoided due to risk of further pressure injury or infection. Special techniques to bypass the injured segment have been used.

To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.