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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Occult Vascular Transection Identified by Point-of-care Ultrasound Demonstrating Evidence of Retrograde Flow


Acute vascular injury can be a cause of significant disability and morbidity. High clinical suspicion and a thorough physical examination are key components to facilitate a timely diagnosis. We present a case of acute vascular injury after isolated penetrating trauma. Physical examination demonstrated a strong distal radial pulse; however, point-of-care ultrasound facilitated an evaluation of the directionality of arterial flow, demonstrating that flow was retrograde via the palmar arch. We subsequently identified a proximal and complete arterial laceration.

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