A Rare Yet Morbid Complication of Endotracheal Intubation: Tracheal Rupture
KeywordsTracheal tears, tracheal lacerations, endotracheal intubation
Tracheal tears are an uncommon phenomenon that can occur due to infection, blunt or penetrating trauma or iatrogenic causes secondary to endotracheal intubation or procedures such as bronchoscopy. Post-intubation tracheal laceration is a very rare yet serious complication with high morbidity and mortality rates. Here, we report the case of a 53-year-old woman with a medical history of hypertension who presented with complaints of facial swelling after undergoing arthroscopic debridement of the coracoacromial ligament as well as partial resection of the acromion for impingement of the right shoulder under general anaesthesia. The patient was found to have extensive pneumomediastinum, subcutaneous emphysema, and a large tracheal tear. We aim to highlight this rare complication of endotracheal intubation, discuss the presenting signs and symptoms, and explore the various management options.