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Acute Thoracic Compression With Traumatic Asphyxia: Report of Six Cases

Acute Thoracic Compression With Traumatic Asphyxia: Report of Six Cases Abstract Acute thoracic compression may produce a striking and characteristic syndrome referred to variously as traumatic asphyxia, ecchymotic mask, pressure stasis, traumatic cyanosis, cervicofacial cutaneous asphyxia, and Perthes' symptom complex.1 It is caused by a crushing injury to the chest or upper abdomen, or both, with a period of apnea. It is characterized by reddish, purplish, or black discoloration of the skin of the face, neck, and shoulders, accompanied by bilateral subconjunctival hemorrhages. "Traumatic asphyxia," the most common designation of this syndrome, is actually a misnomer. The patients have not been asphyxiated in the usual definition of the term, but instead have suffered from excessive oxygen removal in the cutaneous capillaries due to stasis of blood flow. "Cervicofacial static cyanosis" accurately describes the pathophysiology; but because the term is somewhat cumbersome, "traumatic asphyxia" probably will continue to be used. Since most recent cases of this entity have been due to References 1. Fred, H. L., and Chandler, F. W.: Traumatic Asphyxia , Amer J Med 29:508-517 ( (Sept) ) 1960.Crossref 2. Stickney, J. M., and Hagedorn, A. B.: Chest Injuries and Traumatic Asphyxia , Proc Mayo Clin 19:207-213 ( (April 19) ) 1944. 3. Ollivier: Quoted by Dwek, J.6 4. Perthes, G.: Über "Druckstauung," Deutsch Z Chir 55:384-392 ( (April) ) 1900.Crossref 5. Heuer, G. J.: Traumatic Asphyxia: With Special Reference to Its Ocular and Visual Disturbances , Surg Gynec Obstet 36:686-696 ( (May) ) 1923. 6. Dwek, J.: Ecchymotic Mask , J Int Coll Surg 9:257-265 ( (March-April) ) 1946. 7. Quigley, W. F.: Acute Superior Vena Caval Compression , Hawaii Med J 20:337-338 ( (March-April) ) 1961. 8. Laird, W. R., and Borman, M. C.: Traumatic Asphyxia: With Report of Five Additional Cases , Surg Gynec Obstet 50:578-585 ( (March) ) 1930. 9. Alexander, E. G.: A Case of Stasis Cyanosis Following an Epileptic Seizure, Simulating Traumatic Asphyxia , Ann Surg 49:762-766, 1909.Crossref 10. Ryerson, E. S.: A Case of Traumatic Asphyxia With Recovery , Canad Pract Rev 32: 195-201, 1907. 11. Robertson, L. B.: Traumatic Asphyxia With a Report of Six Cases , Canad Med Ass J 4:501-507 ( (June) ) 1914. 12. Bolt, R. A.: Traumatic Asphyxia, With Report of a Case , Cleveland Med J 7:647-659 ( (Dec) ) 1908. 13. Reichert, F. L., and Martin, J. W.: Traumatic Asphyxia: Experimental and Clinical Observations With a Report of a Case With Concomitant Paraplegia , Ann Surg 134:361-368 ( (Sept) ) 1951.Crossref http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archives of Surgery American Medical Association

Acute Thoracic Compression With Traumatic Asphyxia: Report of Six Cases

Archives of Surgery , Volume 87 (6) – Dec 1, 1963

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1963 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0004-0010
eISSN
1538-3644
DOI
10.1001/archsurg.1963.01310180083014
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract Acute thoracic compression may produce a striking and characteristic syndrome referred to variously as traumatic asphyxia, ecchymotic mask, pressure stasis, traumatic cyanosis, cervicofacial cutaneous asphyxia, and Perthes' symptom complex.1 It is caused by a crushing injury to the chest or upper abdomen, or both, with a period of apnea. It is characterized by reddish, purplish, or black discoloration of the skin of the face, neck, and shoulders, accompanied by bilateral subconjunctival hemorrhages. "Traumatic asphyxia," the most common designation of this syndrome, is actually a misnomer. The patients have not been asphyxiated in the usual definition of the term, but instead have suffered from excessive oxygen removal in the cutaneous capillaries due to stasis of blood flow. "Cervicofacial static cyanosis" accurately describes the pathophysiology; but because the term is somewhat cumbersome, "traumatic asphyxia" probably will continue to be used. Since most recent cases of this entity have been due to References 1. Fred, H. L., and Chandler, F. W.: Traumatic Asphyxia , Amer J Med 29:508-517 ( (Sept) ) 1960.Crossref 2. Stickney, J. M., and Hagedorn, A. B.: Chest Injuries and Traumatic Asphyxia , Proc Mayo Clin 19:207-213 ( (April 19) ) 1944. 3. Ollivier: Quoted by Dwek, J.6 4. Perthes, G.: Über "Druckstauung," Deutsch Z Chir 55:384-392 ( (April) ) 1900.Crossref 5. Heuer, G. J.: Traumatic Asphyxia: With Special Reference to Its Ocular and Visual Disturbances , Surg Gynec Obstet 36:686-696 ( (May) ) 1923. 6. Dwek, J.: Ecchymotic Mask , J Int Coll Surg 9:257-265 ( (March-April) ) 1946. 7. Quigley, W. F.: Acute Superior Vena Caval Compression , Hawaii Med J 20:337-338 ( (March-April) ) 1961. 8. Laird, W. R., and Borman, M. C.: Traumatic Asphyxia: With Report of Five Additional Cases , Surg Gynec Obstet 50:578-585 ( (March) ) 1930. 9. Alexander, E. G.: A Case of Stasis Cyanosis Following an Epileptic Seizure, Simulating Traumatic Asphyxia , Ann Surg 49:762-766, 1909.Crossref 10. Ryerson, E. S.: A Case of Traumatic Asphyxia With Recovery , Canad Pract Rev 32: 195-201, 1907. 11. Robertson, L. B.: Traumatic Asphyxia With a Report of Six Cases , Canad Med Ass J 4:501-507 ( (June) ) 1914. 12. Bolt, R. A.: Traumatic Asphyxia, With Report of a Case , Cleveland Med J 7:647-659 ( (Dec) ) 1908. 13. Reichert, F. L., and Martin, J. W.: Traumatic Asphyxia: Experimental and Clinical Observations With a Report of a Case With Concomitant Paraplegia , Ann Surg 134:361-368 ( (Sept) ) 1951.Crossref

Journal

Archives of SurgeryAmerican Medical Association

Published: Dec 1, 1963

References