Damage to the carotid artery. Causes include blunt injuries (e.g., motor vehicle accidents and sports-related injuries) and penetrating traumas (e.g., gunshot and knife injuries).
Damages to the carotid arteries caused either by blunt force or penetrating trauma, such as craniocerebral trauma; thoracic injuries; and neck injuries. Damaged carotid arteries can lead to carotid artery thrombosis; carotid-cavernous sinus fistula; pseudoaneurysm formation; and internal carotid artery dissection. (from am j forensic med pathol 1997, 18:251; j trauma 1994, 37:473)