Airway Management in a Patient With Tracheal Disruption due to Penetrating Neck Trauma With Hollow Point Ammunition: A Case Report

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Rapid sequence induction and intubation was performed for a patient in respiratory distress after a gunshot wound to the neck. Resistance was noted distal to vocal cords. With a bronchoscope unavailable, the endotracheal tube was advanced with a corkscrew maneuver. Subcutaneous emphysema had developed. The endotracheal tube was advanced into the right mainstem with adequate ventilation. Imaging illustrated tracheoesophageal injury. The patient was emergently explored. An intraluminal bullet was removed, lateral wall tracheal defect was repaired, and a tracheostomy was placed. The intubating provider should secure the airway by the method they are most comfortable, have high suspicion of airway injury, and prepare to manage airway disruption.

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