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 (EMKF) is an NGO supporting emergency healthcare providers across Kenya to save lives by strengthening the emergency healthcare system through capacity building, knowledge development, advocacy and research.