Cardiac Arrest Due to Massive Aspiration from a Broncho-esophageal Fistula: A Case Report


East Florida


Aventura Hospital and Medical Center

Document Type

Case Report

Publication Date



Broncho esophageal fistula, Cardiopulmonary arrest, Case report, Caustic ingestion, Critical care, Tracheoesophageal fistula


Cardiology | Critical Care | Medicine and Health Sciences | Pulmonology


BACKGROUND: Tracheo and broncho esophageal fistulas and their potential complications in adults are seldom encountered in clinical practice but carries a significant morbidity and mortality.

CASE SUMMARY: We present a case of a 39-year-old otherwise healthy man who presented to our hospital after ingestion of drain cleaner substance during a suicidal attempt. He unexpectedly suffered from cardiac arrest during his stay in the intensive care unit. The patient had developed extensive segmental trachea-broncho-esophageal fistulous tracks that led to a sudden and significant aspiration event of gastric and duodenal contents with subsequent cardiopulmonary arrest. Endoscopic evaluation of extension of fistulous track proved a slow and delayed progression of disease despite initial management with esophageal stenting for his caustic injury.

CONCLUSION: The aim of this case presentation is to share with the reader the dire natural history of trachea-broncho-esophageal fistulas and its delayed progression. We aim to illustrate pitfalls in the endoscopic examination and provide further awareness on critical care monitoring and management strategies to reduce its morbidity and mortality.

Publisher or Conference

World Journal of Critical Care Medicine