Wounds to the Neck

While rare, wounds to the neck pose a risk of introducing an air embolism into the bloodstream causing further risks to the patient. To treat this injury, start by providing bleeding control techniques outlined in this text (avoiding tourniquets, of course!). In addition, you will need to include an occlusive dressing to mitigate risks of air embolism. Use a commercial chest seal if available, otherwise an improvised occlusive dressing taped on all 4 sides will suffice. Please look up the term subcutaneous air (sub-Q air) to understand its pathology and how to assess the patient for it. Anytime there is penetrating trauma to the neck, near the trachea, or near the lungs, there may also be sub-Q air.

Wounds to the Neck Skill Verification Table

Neck wounds

1 (Instructor)


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Oregon EMS Psychomotor Skills Lab Manual Copyright © 2023 by Chris Hamper, BS, NRP; Carmen Curtz, Paramedic, BS; Holly A. Edwins, Paramedic, B.S.; and Jamie Kennel, PhD, MAS, NRP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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