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J Trauma. 1989 Feb;29(2):234-7.

Blunt chest trauma in the elderly.

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Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, Baltimore.


Significant differences were identified between a group of elderly patients (65 years and older) and a nonelderly group both with blunt thoracic trauma. There was a lower incidence of elderly patients presenting in shock; however, cardiopulmonary arrest at arrival was more frequent in this group. Although the types of complications were similar in both populations, the morbidity and mortality rates were higher in the elderly. A high index of suspicion must be generated for an elderly patient who has sustained blunt chest trauma. An aggressive diagnostic and therapeutic approach may lead to a decrease in the high morbidity and mortality rates in the elderly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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