Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
CJEM. 2014 Mar;16(2):136-43.

Cohort study on the prevalence and risk factors for delayed pulmonary complications in adults following minor blunt thoracic trauma.



The objectives of this study are to determine the prevalence, risk factors, and time to onset of delayed hemothorax and pneumothorax in adults who experienced a minor blunt thoracic trauma.


A prospective cohort of 450 consecutive patients was recruited. Eligible patients had to be over 16 years of age, consulted within 72 hours for a trauma, and available for outpatient follow-up at 2, 7, and 14 days posttrauma. The clinical outcome investigated was the presence of delayed pneumothorax or hemothorax on the follow-up chest x-ray.


Delayed hemothorax occurred in 11.8% (95% CI 8.8-14.8), and delayed pneumothorax occurred in 0.9% (95% CI 0.2-2.3) of participants. During the 14-day follow-up period, 87.0% of these delayed complications developed in the first week. In the multivariate analysis, the only statistically significant risk factor for delayed complications was the location of fractures on the x-ray of the hemithorax. The adjusted odds ratio was 1.52 (95% CI 0.62-3.73) for the lower ribs (tenth to twelfth rib), 3.11 (95% CI 1.60-6.08) for the midline ribs (sixth to ninth rib), and 5.05 (95% CI 1.80-14.19) for the upper ribs (third to fifth rib) versus patients with no fractures.


The presence of at least one rib fracture between the third and ninth rib on the x-ray of the hemithorax is a significant risk factor for delayed hemothorax and pneumothorax.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center