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A 40-year-old member asked:

Can you get a torn esophagus or worse, in a car accident?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Allen Seely
General Practice 32 years experience
YES/NO: If the force in a mva (motor vehicle accident) is enough to tear an esophagus you probably won't survive to 'get the diagnosis' --other structures would also be torn (e.g. Aorta, vena cava ...).
Dr. Harold Mandel
General Practice 39 years experience
Trauma is possible: Trauma is one cause of an esophageal rupture. Other causes are cancer of the esophagus, ingesting corrosive fluids, and forceful vomiting. Esophageal rupture may also be iatrogenic during endoscopic procedures. This is a serious condition which demands immediate surgical care.
Dr. Phillip Goebel
Emergency Medicine 17 years experience
Yes: You can rupture your esophagus in a car accident, but the forces required to do this usually produce other serious to mortal injuries at the same time. These injuries include rib fractures, collapsed lungs, torn aorta, and lung contusions. Fortunately modern air bags, seat belts, and car designs have reduced the number of these serious injuries significantly.
Last updated Jul 8, 2018

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