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Crit Care Clin. 2004 Jan;20(1):71-81.

Blunt thoracic trauma: flail chest, pulmonary contusion, and blast injury.

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Division of General Surgery, Oregon Health & Science University, Mail Code L223A, 3181 Southwest Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239, USA.


Blunt thoracic trauma can result in significant morbidity in injured patients. Both chest wall and the intrathoracic visceral injuries can lead to life-threatening complications if not anticipated and treated. Pain control, aggressive pulmonary toilet, and mechanical ventilation when necessary are the mainstays of supportive treatment. The elderly with blunt chest trauma are especially at risk for pulmonary deterioration in the several days postinjury and should be monitored carefully regardless of their initial presentation. Blunt thoracic trauma is also a marker for associated injuries, including severe head and abdominal injuries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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