Penetrating Craniomaxillofacial Injury Caused by a Pneumatic Nail Gun

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Abstract

Craniomaxillofacial injuries can be complex, requiring a multidisciplinary approach. The primary survey is always the first step in trauma management prior to proceeding with further evaluation and treatment. A 26-year-old man presented with a penetrating nail gun injury through the oral and nasal cavities. He did not present in extremis but required elective endotracheal intubation for intraoperative assessment and treatment. Airway management was enhanced by the use of lingual nerve and inferior alveolar nerve blocks via the Vazirani-Akinosi technique to maintain spontaneous respiration while the tongue was distracted from the palate. The nail was removed and rapid sequence induction initiated for orotracheal intubation. Local nerve blocks can be an effective tool in the armamentarium of the craniomaxillofacial trauma surgeon in managing blunt and penetrating injuries. We demonstrate its utility in airway management when a penetrating foreign body in the upper airway precludes orotracheal or nasotracheal intubation.

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