Research Article

Airway patency in fatal accidents.

Br Med J 1977; 2 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.2.6097.1249 (Published 12 November 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;2:1249
  1. D W Yates

    Abstract

    The state of the airway in patients who had fatal accidents over a five-year period was correlated with the severity of injury sustained. Necropsy of patients dying in hospital up to 72 hours after an accident showed that those with obstruction of the airway had less severe injuries than those in whome no such obstruction could be found. This suggests that airway obstruction contributed to their death. A similar distinction could not be shown for the patients who died before they reached hospital, indicating that airway management before arrival at hospital was probably satisfactory.