Detecting Foreign Bodies in a Head Laceration
Open wounds represent a potential area of medicolegal risk if foreign bodies are not identified prior to wound closure. The importance of imaging of lacerations was underscored by a recent case where a 20-year-old male collided with a friend's mouth on a trampoline sustaining a simple, superficial scalp laceration. The wound was evaluated in typical fashion including irrigation and local exploration and was prepared for closure. The friend was then evaluated and noted to have multiple extensive dental fractures. An increased index of suspicion generated further evaluation of the first patient's wound. Plain radiography obtained of the first patient's skull was noted to have bony foreign bodies consistent with teeth, which were then removed after further exploration. Superficial wounds are common and complications arising from retained foreign bodies are a potential source of substantial morbidity and consequently medical litigation. This case serves as a reminder to be vigilant and maintain a high index of suspicion regarding the potential for foreign body.
Published In/Presented At
Fowler, T. R., Crellin, S. J., & Greenberg, M. R. (2015). Detecting foreign bodies in a head laceration. Case Reports In Emergency Medicine, 2015801676. doi:10.1155/2015/801676
Department of Emergency Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine Faculty, USF-LVHN SELECT Program, USF-LVHN SELECT Program Faculty