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World J Emerg Surg. 2012 May 28;7(1):17. doi: 10.1186/1749-7922-7-17.

How to mend a broken heart: a major stab wound of the left ventricle.

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Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Oslo University Hospital, Ullevål PB 4956 Nydalen, and University of Oslo, Oslo, 0424, Norway.


A 28-year-old male admitted with a stab wound under his left nipple, underwent emergency surgery because of confusion, a decreasing blood pressure and increasing tachycardia. A median sternotomy incision was made and after establishing cardiopulmonary bypass, a 7 cm wound in the left ventricle and a smaller wound in the left atrium were repaired. An injured segment of lung was resected and the left anterior descending and circumflex arteries were grafted after weaning from cardiopulmonary bypass was initially unsuccessful. Although the patient suffered a stroke, probably due to prehospital hypoperfusion, he eventually recovered without major sequelae. In addition to the case report we present a literature review of the last 15 years pertaining the management of penetrating cardiac injury.

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