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Niger J Med. 2011 Oct-Dec;20(4):475-8.

Anterior neck injuries presenting as cut throat emergencies in a tertiary health institution in north western Nigeria.

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  • 1Department of Ent, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital (UDUTH) Sokoto. frobih@yahoo.com



Anterior neck injuries vary in pattern and aetiology and may pose management challenges ifnot fatal.


To describe patterns of anterior neck injuries in a tertiary hospital north western Nigeria.


This is a prospective study of all cases of anterior neck injuries presenting as cut throat emergencies that were referred from accident and emergency department to the department of otorhinolaryngology over a nine year period (September 1999 to August 2008).


A total number of 19 cases were seen. All were males whose age range was from 5 years to 60 years with a mean age of 21.2 years. About 78.9% of the patients were within the 2nd to 4th decades of life with a peak at the 4th decade (31.6%). Ten (52.6%) patients were cases of attempted suicide with known background of psychiatric illness, Five (26.3%) were homicidal (3 under the influence of illicit drugs), two (10.5%) were from animal assault while one was as a result of road traffic accident and another one from fall on sharp object. Patients with attempted suicide had deep open wounds exposing the pharynx, larynx or both with horizontally positioned incision wounds while homicidal cases had obliquely positioned incision wounds. Restoration of normal neck, pharyngeal and laryngeal architecture was carried out through meticulous surgical repair of various tissue layers with nasogastric tube in situ for 7-9 days. Psychiatric evaluation and treatment were carried out concurrently with patients who attempted suicide and homicide. Two patients required tracheostomy to prevent upper airway obstruction from severe laryngeal trauma.


Significant proportion of emergencies from anterior neck cut throat injuries in this study were from suicidal attempts (52.6%) by people with a background history of psychiatric illness, followed by attempted homicide (26.3%) and animal assault (10.5%). Prompt surgical repair and concurrent psychiatric evaluation in attempted suicide and homicide is required.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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