Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Injured Vein Anatomy

To better understand vascular injuries, it helps to understand the anatomy of the vascular system.

The vascular system includes the arteries and veins. Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood from the heart, to the body. Veins are blood vessels that carry blood from the body, back to the heart.

The pressure in an artery is much higher than in a vein. An injury to an artery tends to be more serious than an injury to a vein. The larger the artery (or vein) that is injured, the more serious the injury.

Anatomy examples:

  • Arteries of the body
  • Major vessels of the neck
  • Major vessels of the groin and thigh
  • Aortic arch: originates at the heart and supplies the coronary arteries.
  • Thoracic aorta: provides numerous branches, the intercostal arteries, which supply the chest wall.
  • Abdominal aorta: supplies the gut and then terminates in the iliac vessels, which supply the pelvis and lower extremities.

Last Updated: Nov 4, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Injured Vein References
  1. McKevitt EC, Kirkpatrick AW, Vertesi L, Granger R, Simons RK. Blunt vascular neck injuries: diagnosis and outcomes of extracranial vessel injury. J Trauma. 2002 Sep;53(3):472-6. [12352483]
  2. Moore CL, Vasquez NF, Lin H, Kaplan LJ. Major vascular injury after laparoscopic tubal ligation. J Emerg Med. 2005 Jul;29(1):67-71. [15961012]
  3. Rich NM, Rhee P. An historical tour of vascular injury management: from its inception to the new millennium. Surg Clin North Am. 2001 Dec;81(6):1199-215. [11766173]
  4. Rich NM. Complications of vascular injury management. Surg Clin North Am. 2002 Feb;82(1):143-74, xxi. [11905943]
  5. Sugrue M, Caldwell EM, Damours SK, Crozier JA, Deane SA. Vascular injury in Australia. Surg Clin North Am. 2002 Feb;82(1):211-9. [11905948]
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