Foreign body in neck

Case contributed by Dr Daniel J Bell

Presentation

TASER barb stuck in neck. Is there injury to the trachea/larynx?

Patient Data

Age: 30 years
Gender: Male
X-ray

Neck soft tissue radiograph

Barbed metallic foreign body representing a TASER dart in the prelaryngeal soft tissue. Specifically, directly anterior to the cricoid cartilage. No evidence of injury to deeper structures. 

On the inverted image, a short portion of remnant wire is seen.

Case Discussion

TASERs are increasingly - and controversially - used by security forces worldwide. This is notable in the UK, where the police are not routinely armed.

Usually the dart is targeted to, and lodges in, the torso. However there are many case reports of them ending up elsewhere, sometimes with tragic consequences 1. Fortunately in this case there was no deep soft tissue penetrating injury and, as far as I know, no local electrical injury. 

Thanks to Dr Chris Carr, Consultant Radiologist, for sharing this case with me.

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Case information

rID: 62726
Published: 28th Aug 2018
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
System: Trauma
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included
Institution: North Middlesex University Hospital

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