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Medicina (Buenos Aires)

versión On-line ISSN 1669-9106


KLEIN, M.; SZKRABKO, S.; RODRIGUEZ MARTIN, J.  y  PAYASLIAN, S.. Enfisema subcutáneo en mano y antebrazo por aire comprimido. Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2003, vol.63, n.6, pp. 721-723. ISSN 1669-9106.

Cutaneous injuries with crepitus suggest infections caused by gas forming organisms. The non infectious causes of subcutaneous emphysema are underrecognized, and are usually of good prognosis. A 27 year old man presented a swollen hand and forearm. He had suffered a small puncture wound in a finger. He had cleaned and dried the area briefly with compressed air, developing a fast swelling of this hand and forearm. At examination, we found extended subcutaneous emphysema in a radiography and observed subcutaneous air in the hand and forearm; 48 hs later there was no evidence of subcutaneous air. The presence of subcutaneous emphysema is always worrisome and such cases must be considered in the differential diagnosis. The exposition of preexistent wounds to compressed air sources (high pressure pneumatic tools, scuba compressed air tubes, compressed air guns) identifies the cause and prevents unnecessary surgical interventions.

Palabras clave : Subcutaneous non infectious emphysema; Hand; Forearm.

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