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Penetrating thoracic wound with cardiac trauma
  1. Ciara McGrath,
  2. Caroline Smith and
  3. Lee B Meakin
  1. Langford Vets, Small Animal Referral Hospital, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  1. Correspondence to Ciara McGrath; cm17002{at}


A young male whippet presented in hypovolaemic shock with a penetrating thoracic wound. Point-of-care ultrasound documented a moderate volume of pleural effusion and a hyperechoic mass adjacent to the right ventricle suspected to be a haematoma. Thoracic CT confirmed these findings. Following stabilisation, the patient proceeded to theatre and a median sternotomy was performed. A large haematoma was attached to the ventral surface of the right ventricle. The haematoma was removed, and a partial thickness laceration was visualised on the ventral surface of the right ventricular free wall. The defect was repaired with pledgeted mattress sutures. A chest drain was placed and the thorax closed routinely. The patient recovered without complication. This case report describes the importance of considering internal trauma, including cardiac trauma, in patients presenting with a penetrating thoracic injury. It also highlights the importance of emergency stabilisation and utility of point-of-care ultrasonography in these patients.

  • emergency medicine
  • trauma
  • cardiac trauma
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  • Contributors CM along with CS and LBM were responsible for the management of this case and preparation of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement There are no data in this work

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