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Mechanism of injury, injury patterns and associated injuries in patients operated for chest wall trauma

Journal article
Authors Eva Corina Caragounis
Yao Xiao
Hans Granhed
Published in European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery
ISSN 1863-9933
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Surgery
Language en
Keywords Chest wall trauma, Flail chest, Injury patterns, Mechanism of injury, Operation, Rib fracture
Subject categories Surgery


Purpose: Chest wall injuries are common in blunt trauma and associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to determine the most common mechanisms of injury (MOI), injury patterns, and associated injuries in patients who undergo surgery for chest wall trauma. Methods: This was a retrospective study of trauma patients with multiple rib fractures and unstable thoracic cage injuries who were managed surgically at Sahlgrenska University Hospital during the period September 2010–September 2017. The MOI, injury severity score (ISS), new injury severity score (NISS), thoracic and associated injuries were recorded. Patients were categorized according to age (years): groups I (15‒44), II (45‒64) and III (> 64). Unstable thoracic cage injuries were classified as sternal, anterior, lateral and posterior flail chest. Results: Two hundred and eleven trauma patients with a mean age (years) of 58.2 ± 15.6, mean ISS 23.6 ± 11.0, and mean NISS 34.1 ± 10.6 were included in the study. Traffic accidents were the most common MOI in Group I (62%) and falls in Group III (59%). The most common flail segments were lateral and posterior. Sternal and anterior flail segments were more common with bilateral injuries and traffic accidents, particularly frontal collisions. Injuries in at least three body regions were also more associated with traffic accidents. Diaphragmatic injury was seen in 18% of patients who underwent thoracotomy. Conclusions: The MOI associated with multiple rib fractures differs according to the age of the patient and is associated with different chest wall injury patterns and extra-thoracic injuries. © 2019, The Author(s).

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Utskriftsdatum: 2020-01-25