Traumatic Injury to Larynx, Trachea, and Esophagus
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Trauma: An injury that is due to a physical force. Trauma can be classified into blunt, penetrating, inhalational, or caustic. Additionally, it can be intentional or unintentional.
Blunt trauma: Injury that results from contact with a dull, flat object as opposed to penetrating trauma which is due to contact with a sharp object.
Caustic: The ability to cause injury such as burning or corrosion by a chemical reaction.
Acidic: Having a pH of less than 7 or behaving in a similar fashion.
Alkaline: Having a pH of greater than 7 or behaving in a similar fashion.
Injuries to the esophagus, larynx, and trachea are rare but well-known problems seen in head and neck practices. This entry will focus primarily on injuries that occurred outside of the hospital from intentional and unintentional trauma. Surgical injuries can cause similar long-term problems like subglottic stenosis but are generally classified differently.
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