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Unfallchirurg. 2010 May;113(5):360-5. doi: 10.1007/s00113-010-1776-x.

[Injury severity and pattern at the scene. What is the influence of the mechanism of injury?].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Unfallchirurgische Klinik, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, 30625, Hannover.



The mechanism of injury is the major cause for trauma team activation and emergency room resuscitation of trauma victims. To date, it remains unclear to what extent the injury mechanism influences injury pattern and severity.


A comprehensive systematic literature search based on Medline was carried out.


Only a limited number of studies are available which investigated the influence of injury mechanisms on injury patterns and severity. There are no specific mechanisms for traumatic brain and spine injuries. Injuries to the chest and abdomen most frequently resulted from motor vehicle accidents involving passengers sitting on the side of the impact. Steering wheel deformity correlated with the injury severity. Pelvic fractures occurred most frequently due to motor vehicle accidents. The highest mortality resulted from pedestrians being struck by a vehicle and additional loss of life in the same vehicle compartment.


The systematic literature research showed inconsistent results regarding the influence of trauma mechanisms on the resulting injury. Therefore, a treatment algorithm for trauma patients should be independent of the mechanism which is represented in several training programs (e.g. ATLS and PHTLS). However, the mechanism of injury may increase the alertness of the trauma team with respect to injury distribution and severity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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