Tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF) is an uncommon but life-threatening sequel of prolonged use of a cuffed tracheostomy tube. We describe a patient who developed a TEF after a tracheostomy done for management of head injury due to a road traffic mishap. The patient subsequently died of sepsis after bilateral bronchopneumonia. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first autopsy case of iatrogenic TEF after tracheal intubation reported in forensic literature.
From the *Forensic Medicine Division, Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, King Fahd Hospital of the University, University of Dammam, Dammam, Saudi Arabia; †Department of Internal Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR; ‡Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, and §Department of Forensic Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, India; ∥Department ofOtorhinolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, and ¶Department of Forensic Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India; and #Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, Father Muller Medical College, Mangalore, India.
Manuscript received May 20, 2012; accepted July 18, 2013.
Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore and Kasturba Medical College, Manipal are affiliated with Manipal University, India.
The authors report no conflict of interest.
Reprints: Sadip Pant, MD, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 W Markham, Little Rock, AR 72205. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com.