A case is reported of subcutaneous emphysema involving upper limb resulting from a trivial laceration to the elbow. Gas in the soft tissues after the injury can be caused by infection with a gas forming organism or by a variety of non-infective causes. It is hypothesised that this minor skin wound has acted like a ball-valve mechanism leading to air being trapped in the soft tissue.
Emerg Med J (Emerg Med J 2001;18:522)
- subcutaneous emphysema
- upper limb
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