Central venous cannulations are commonly performed in the intensive care unit. However, these may be associated with severe mechanical or bleeding complications. Here, we describe a patient who died following severe and rapid airway obstruction secondary to an arterial trauma during internal jugular vein cannulation. This case report highlights the importance of prompt recognition of arterial trauma so that it can be repaired surgically instead of sheath removal. The prompt diagnosis of an impending airway obstruction and obtaining early airway access cannot be overemphasized. Finally, we discuss the risk factors associated with this complication and what we could have possibly done to prevent this outcome
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