Tracheal injury characterized by subcutaneous emphysema and dyspnea after improper placement of a Sengstaken–Blakemore tube: A case report

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Abstract

Rationale:

Tracheal injury characterized by subcutaneous emphysema and dyspnea can occur following the use of a Sengstaken–Blakemore tube. Should tracheal injury occur, it may be possible to manage resultant airway obstruction with a tracheal stent.

Patient concerns:

We describe the case of a 51-year-old patient who developed a tracheal injury when a Sengstaken–Blakemore tube was inadvertently inserted into the patient's trachea.

Diagnoses:

Liver cirrhosis, gastric-fundus variceal bleeding, tracheal injury.

Interventions:

Polyglycol and tissue glue were injected intravenously, and endoscopic variceal ligation was performed. A Sengstaken–Blakemore tube was used to stop the bleeding. A covered tracheal stent was placed via fiberoptic bronchoscopy to relieve the tracheal injury due to improper placement of a Sengstaken–Blakemore tube.

Outcomes:

After placement of the tracheal stent, the patient was able to breathe spontaneously and subsequently recovered.

Lessons:

Some precautions must be taken to avoid placing a Sengstaken–Blakemore tube in the trachea. If a tracheal injury occurs following misplacement of a Sengstaken–Blakemore tube, it may be possible to manage resultant airway obstruction by placing a tracheal stent.

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