Background: Trauma to the heart is usually rapidly fatal, but survival can be improved with timely and appropriate surgical management. However, certain injuries require specialist cardiothoracic surgical intervention.
Methods: Three patients with coronary artery lacerations treated by cardiac surgeons at remote hospitals are presented. The recent literature, the current treatment options available and suggestions on techniques to improve survival are reviewed.
Conclusions: Laceration of the coronary arteries is difficult to manage, especially in the absence of specialty equipment. Appropriate protocols should be established to provide this service in order to optimise the management of patients with complicated trauma. A cardiac surgical take-away kit could facilitate the management of these difficult patients in a setting remote from the cardiac operating room.
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Competing interests: None declared.
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