Stabbed in the neck…what next?? (miraculously the patient has survived to get to you)

The neck is divided into 3 Zones, which become important in evaluating and managing these patients, especially with regard to the structures lying within each division.

Zone I (base of neck) – below the cricoid cartilage (to the sternal notch): mediastinal structures, thoracic duct, proximal carotid artery, vertebral/subclavian artery, trachea, lung, esophagus
Zone II (mid-neck) – from the cricoid cartilage to the angle of the mandible: carotid/vertebral artery, larynx, trachea, esophagus, jugular vein, vagus and recurrent laryngeal nerves
Zone III (upper neck) – above the angle of the mandible: distal carotid artery, vertebral artery, distal jugular vein, salivary/parotid glands, CNs 9-12

Emergency Medicine Kenya Foundation