, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 255-256,
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Date: 01 Aug 2009

Traumatic asphyxia: a rare syndrome in trauma patients

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A 6-year-old boy was admitted to the emergency department (ED) suffering from petechiae and purpura on his face caused by a farming accident. He got his T-shirt caught in a rotating shaft at the back of a tractor. The T-shirt wrapped around his thorax and compressed him. He did not lose his consciousness during the incident. His score on the Glasgow Coma Scale was 15 and his initial vital signs were stable upon arrival at the ED. On physical examination, diffuse petechiae and purpura were noted on the face and neck although there was not any sign of the direct trauma (Figs. 1 and 2). The patient denied suffering head trauma. Examination for abdominal and thoracic organ injury was negative. Fig. 1

Diffuse petechiae and purpura throughout face and eyelids and submucosal hemorrhages on the lower lip
Fig. 2
Petechiae, purpura, and ecchymosis on the left side of the face

Traumatic asphyxia is a rare condition presenting with cervicofacial cyanosis and edema, subconjunctival hemorrhage, and pete ...