Atrial septal defects (ASD) caused by traumatic events, specifically blunt cardiac trauma, are considered an infrequent occurrence, yet their true prevalence has been difficult to ascertain. The general lack of knowledge is likely due to the pathology being severely understudied. We present the case of a 21-year-old male who was diagnosed with ASD following a motor vehicle accident. Initial assessment utilizing the point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) technique - focused assessment with sonography for trauma (FAST) was found to be negative for free intraperitoneal or pericardial fluid. Subsequent computed tomography displayed multiple injuries but agreed with the FAST exam findings of no fluid within the abdomen or pericardium. Later in the patient's care a dedicated POCUS transthoracic echocardiogram was performed which identified right sided heart dilatation. The patient was managed in the intensive care unit (ICU) for an extensive period but recovered sufficiently to be discharged. The plan was to repair the ASD on a non-emergent basis. This case highlights the importance and diagnostic utility of bedside POCUS.
Categories: Emergency Medicine.
Published In/Presented At
Batchelor, T. J., Imperato, N. S., Wheel, K. L., Rennie, A. J., & Roth, K. R. (2022). Traumatic atrial septal defect diagnosed by bedside point-of-care ultrasound. Radiology case reports, 17(12), 4546–4549. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radcr.2022.09.021
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Emergency Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine Faculty, Department of Emergency Medicine Residents, Department of Surgery, USF-LVHN SELECT Program, USF-LVHN SELECT Program Students