2021 Volume 36 Issue 1 Pages 1-4
We report a case of retropharyngeal hematoma caused by minor injury. An 83-year-old man stumbled and hit his face on the floor at home. He called the emergency services because of facial pain. He was able to talk when the ambulance crew contacted him, but his condition soon deteriorated and he lost consciousness, with decreased percutaneous oxygen saturation. On admission, his Glasgow Coma Scale score was E1V1M4. He also had difficulty breathing, indicating upper airway obstruction. Swelling of the posterior wall of the pharynx due to hematoma was observed during intubation. Cervical CT revealed a retropharyngeal hematoma causing upper airway obstruction, which was managed conservatively by tracheostomy. The patient was discharged on the 25th hospital day. Based on this case, even a minor injury, such as that sustained from a fall, may induce retropharyngeal hematoma causing upper airway obstruction, which can lead to unconsciousness, respiratory failure, and even death without emergency treatment.