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Accidental strangulation with a Venetian blind cord—a near miss

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 29 June 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c3458
  1. Mahesh Masand, paediatrician, Dr Gray’s Hospital, Elgin, Moray
  1. mmasand{at}

    A 22 month old girl was brought to our emergency department after accidental strangulation with the looped cord of a Venetian blind. The mother had walked into the girl’s bedroom and found her hanging from the cord. The parents quickly dialled 999 and gave mouth to mouth breathing until the ambulance crew arrived.

    On arrival in the emergency department the girl had an inspiratory stridor and oxygen saturation going down to 80%, and she was agitated. She had a petechial rash on her face and beaded marks (from the beaded cord of the blind) round her neck anteriorly. She was immediately intubated and stabilised before transfer to our regional paediatric intensive care unit, where she was ventilated for three days. Discharged home on day 7, she has had no neurological complications or any other abnormalities. Magnetic resonance imaging of her head and spine showed no abnormalities.

    The child had been standing on the window sill trying to look out when she probably lost her footing. She was lucky that her mother had walked into the room in time, maybe within seconds of strangulation.

    It had never crossed my mind that a looped …

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