Traumatic Ventricular Septal Defect After Stab Wound to the Chest Missed by Transthoracic Echocardiography: A Case Report
Traumatic ventral septal defect may be sustained after either blunt force or penetrating trauma to the chest. Severity ranges from asymptomatic to acute decompensated heart failure. Our patient suffered a stab wound to the chest and was initially taken to the operating room for repair of a lacerated right ventricle. Subsequent postoperative hemodynamic deterioration prompted a bedside transthoracic echocardiogram, which failed to identify causal factors. A transesophageal echocardiogram performed immediately after ventral septal defect was demonstrated. This case serves to highlight the gaps in current standard practice and encourages the use of transesophageal echocardiogram as a screening tool in patients after penetrating cardiac injuries.