Traumatic Ventricular Septal Defect After Stab Wound to the Chest Missed by Transthoracic Echocardiography: A Case Report

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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.

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