TRACHEA - Blunt injury

The specimen consists of a larynx with proximal trachea and attached thyroid gland. There are extensive areas of haemorrhage over the anterior tracheal surface extending up to envelope the thyroid gland and the anterior surface of the larynx as far as the hyoid bone. There is a transmural tear situated in the anterior tracheal wall, immediately inferior to the cricoid cartilage.
A 67 year old woman was admitted to hospital following a head-on motor vehicle accident. She died soon after admission. Postmortem examination showed separation of the first and second cervical vertebrae and extensive oedema and bruising to the spinal cord.