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Management of cut-throat injuries




Cut-throat injuries (CTIs) are defined as incised injuries or those resembling incised injuries in the neck inflicted by sharp objects. This may result from accident, homicide, or suicide. CTIs are potentially life threatening because of the many vital structures in this area. These patients need emergency and multispecialty care. In this part of the world, suicide is the major cause of CTIs. Exposed hypopharynx and/or larynx following a cut throat, hemorrhage, shock, and asphyxia from aspirated blood are the most common causes of death following a CTI.

Materials and methods

This retrospective study was carried out in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head Neck Surgery, Government Medical College, Srinagar, J&K, India, and included 26 CTI patients who were brought to our department for treatment. The demographics of the patients, site, cause, and nature of the CTI, and the type and outcome of treatment received were recorded and analyzed.


This study showed that young men from rural areas were most susceptible to CTIs. The leading cause of a CTI was a suicide attempt. Among patients who attempted suicide, the reason was psychiatric illness most of the times. The majority of the patients in our study had a cut in the center of the neck, with injury to skin, soft tissue, and the larynx/pharynx. Of 26 patients, 24 recovered completely, whereas two patients died. In our study, 15 out of 26 patients were managed without tracheostomy.


All patients with a CTI should be referred immediately to hospital; early management of patients by a team of specialists can save the life of the patient most of the time. All patients who have attempted suicide should undergo a psychiatric evaluation. This is because the act of suicide is a sign of an underlying mental illness and there may be a possibility of a second attempt. Not all patients with CTIs require tracheostomy. The majority of patients with CTIs can be managed without tracheostomy.


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Correspondence to Zafarullah Beigh MBBS.

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Beigh, Z., Ahmad, R. Management of cut-throat injuries. Egypt J Otolaryngol 30, 268–271 (2014).

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