Airway obstruction due to a pre-vertebral haematoma following difficult central line insertion - Implications for ultrasound guidance and review of the literature

A. Udy, S. Senthuran, J. Lipman

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We describe a case of airway obstruction secondary to a large pre-vertebral cervico-mediastinal haematoma following failed attempts at insertion of an internal jugular central venous line. The need for a high index of suspicion to diagnose this injury and early aggressive intervention to manage it are outlined. The role of ultrasound guidance in preventing such a complication is reviewed, as well as other possible mechanisms of haematoma development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-313
Number of pages5
JournalAnaesthesia and Intensive Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Airway obstruction
  • Complications
  • Internal jugular cannulation
  • Pre-vertebral haematoma

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