Lingual hematoma is a rare but potentially fatal cause of upper airway obstruction. Patients receiving anticoagulants such as heparin can suffer from significant complications of these medications. Not only does heparin exert effects directly on the coagulation cascade, but it has the potential to cause thrombocytopenia by stimulating formation of antibodies against platelets. We present the case of a patient being treated with heparin for a deep-vein thrombosis, who subsequently developed heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and lingual hematoma, necessitating tracheotomy.
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