Title
The concept of forensic emergency medicine as illustrated by an unusual complication of pulmonary artery catheterization The concept of forensic emergency medicine as illustrated by an unusual complication of pulmonary artery catheterization
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
New York ,
Subject
Law
Human medicine
Source (journal)
American journal of forensic medicine and pathology. - New York
Volume/pages
29(2008) :3 , p. 265-267
ISSN
0195-7910
ISI
000258729800016
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Forensic pathologists are regularly confronted with emergency and invasive medical procedures performed on critically ill or traumatized patients. Basic knowledge of such procedures and their possible complications is therefore mandatory in medico-legal practice. In this article, we describe a very unusual complication of pulmonary artery catheterization: through-and-through perforation of the carotid artery, initially without hemodynamic consequence. Death resulted from an aggravation of the preexisting cerebral edema (secondary to a craniocerebral trauma). The misplacement of the pulmonary artery catheter was clinically missed because the guidewire was initially deflected on the cervical spine towards the subclavian vein where the catheter-by chance-entered the circulatory system and followed its normal route further. The forensic importance of leaving all invasive medical devices in situ on a deceased person when a medico-legal autopsy is to be expected and the mutual interaction between emergency and forensic medicine (forensic emergency medicine) are discussed.
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