High speed injury

Q14) A young 18 years old unrestrained car driver has an head on collision with a truck and becomes unconscious. He is intubated on the site of accident and resuscitated with IV fluids. He is brought to the emergency in a state of shock,( BP 90/60 and pulse 120/min) but opens eyes on commands. On examination he does not have  pallor but neck veins are distended.

There are no signs suggestive of head or spine injury. Xray chest reveals normal cardiac chambers, no free gas and mild pleural effusion on left with no evidence of fracture ribs.

What will be the next step of management

a) Resuscitation and simultaneous CT thorax

b) Resuscitation and simultaneous Echo cardiography

c) Exploratory laparotomy

d) Chest tube drainage left side

Answer for Premium - Type of injuries in high speed accidents and points to look at

Aortic rupture

Q) Most common site for traumatic aortic rupture is 

a) Distal to the origin of left subclavian artery

b) Point of entry of aorta above the diaphragm

c) Root of aorta

d) Point distal to Left carotid artery


a) Distal to origin of subclavian artery

Traumatic aortic rupture leads to sudden death after high impact automobile accident or fall from height. Aorta is relatively fixed distal to ligament arteriosum just distal to the origin of subclavian artery and this is the most common site of traumatic rupture especially partial rupture in which adventitia is intact.

Specific clinical findings are 

  1. Asymmetry of BP in upper limbs or upper and lower limbs
  2. Widened pulse pressure
  3. Chest wall contusions

Bailey page 355