Injury of blood vessels

Chest | Emergency Medicine | Injury of blood vessels (Disease)


Blood vessels are the tubes that take blood under high pressure from the heart to the body (arteries) and return blood under low pressure back to the heart via the lungs (veins). In the arm and especially the hand there are enough blood vessels with links between them that cutting of one main artery does not usually give a major problem.

Causes and Risk factors

Injuries usually occur due to a cut with a sharp object such as a knife or broken glass. Heavy machinery can cause amputation of a whole finger or even part or all of the hand.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The blood vessel injury can sometimes be seen by directly examining the wound. Special xrays can be done to identify the injury to the artery or vein. The following exams may be used: angiogram, venogram, CT angiogram, and/or MRA.

Treatment depends on the area that is injured. Some blood vessels do not need repair. Large arteries or arteries that supply important areas will need surgical repair. The surgeon can directly sew the ends of the artery together or use a graft to repair the artery. ...

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