A 26-Year-Old Man Who Has Been in a Motor Vehicle Collision

Sara W. Nelson, MD; Daniel M. Lindberg, MD


August 31, 2016

Editor's Note:
The Case Challenge series includes difficult-to-diagnose conditions, some of which are not frequently encountered by most clinicians but are nonetheless important to accurately recognize. Test your diagnostic and treatment skills using the following patient scenario and corresponding questions. If you have a case that you would like to suggest for a future Case Challenge, please contact us.


A 26-year-old man with an unknown past medical history arrives to the emergency department by ambulance. He had been driving his car while unrestrained and was involved in a high-speed motor vehicle collision. Airbags were deployed, and the vehicle experienced significant front-end damage, with intrusion into the passenger compartment of the car. The patient was extricated from the vehicle and placed on a backboard, and a cervical collar was placed by EMS. A nonrebreather facemask and one peripheral intravenous line were placed in the field.


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