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Case Reports in Emergency Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 801676, 2 pages
Case Report

Detecting Foreign Bodies in a Head Laceration

Department of Emergency Medicine, Lehigh Valley Hospital, USF Morsani College of Medicine, CC & I-78, Allentown, PA 18103, USA

Received 23 November 2014; Accepted 21 January 2015

Academic Editor: Aristomenis K. Exadaktylos

Copyright © 2015 Thomas R. Fowler et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Open wounds represent a potential area of medicolegal risk if foreign bodies are not identified prior to wound closure. The importance of imaging of lacerations was underscored by a recent case where a 20-year-old male collided with a friend’s mouth on a trampoline sustaining a simple, superficial scalp laceration. The wound was evaluated in typical fashion including irrigation and local exploration and was prepared for closure. The friend was then evaluated and noted to have multiple extensive dental fractures. An increased index of suspicion generated further evaluation of the first patient’s wound. Plain radiography obtained of the first patient’s skull was noted to have bony foreign bodies consistent with teeth, which were then removed after further exploration. Superficial wounds are common and complications arising from retained foreign bodies are a potential source of substantial morbidity and consequently medical litigation. This case serves as a reminder to be vigilant and maintain a high index of suspicion regarding the potential for foreign body.