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Saudi J Anaesth. 2011 Jul;5(3):353-5. doi: 10.4103/1658-354X.84123.

Common carotid artery surprise during percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy - A near miss, confirmed with ultrasound.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Abstract

The practice of percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy (PDT) has gained popularity and acceptance due to the ease in acquiring its skill and low probability of complications. Nevertheless, PDT is associated with a few complications, some really life-threatening. We present a case of an abnormally located common carotid artery encountered during PDT in our intensive care unit. The procedure was electively posted, in an old patient chronically ventilated after a revived cardiac arrest. While identifying the landmarks on palpation pulsation was felt similar to arterial pulsation. This was confirmed using bedside portable ultrasonography and found to be the right common carotid artery forming a loop anterior to the trachea at the level of the third and fourth tracheal rings. The patient had a past history of thyroidectomy and this was suspected to be the primary reason for the altered course of the right common carotid artery.

KEYWORDS:

Percutanous dilatational tracheostomy; ultrasound

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