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J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg. 2019 Oct-Dec;24(4):264-270. doi: 10.4103/jiaps.JIAPS_152_18.

Pediatric Thoracoabdominal Trauma: Experience from a Tertiary Care Center.

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Department of Pediatric Surgery, PGIMER and Dr. RML Hospital, New Delhi, India.



The aim of this study is to assess the pattern and mode of thoracoabdominal trauma and anatomical organ involvement, type of management employed, and overall outcomes in the pediatric population.

Materials and Methods:

A retrospective study conducted at a tertiary hospital over a period of 38 months with a total of 198 pediatric patients <12 years of age with a history of abdominal and chest trauma between July 2014 and September 2017 were reviewed. Case files of all pediatric patients were evaluated. Information regarding age, sex, mechanism of injury, site of injury, mode of injury, nature of the injury, definitive treatment required, whether conservative or surgical and outcome of patients was evaluated. site of injury, mode of injury, nature of the injury, definitive treatment required, whether conservative or surgical and outcome of patients was evaluated.


A total of 198 patients of thoracoabdominal trauma patients were studied. The majority of pediatric thoracoabdominal trauma cases were observed in males (n = 128, 64.64%) and females comprise only 35.35% (n = 70). Fall was the most common mode of trauma (58.08%) followed by road traffic accidents (30.30%), thermal injuries (9.09%) assaults in order of decreasing trends. The abdomen was the most common anatomical site of the injury (45.95%) followed by combined thoracoabdominal trauma (32.32%) followed by thoracic trauma (21.71%). Among the thoracic trauma, the most common comprised the lung contusions (37.20%) followed by the lung laceration comprising (25.58%) and rib fractures comprised only 20.93%. Among the abdominal trauma, the most common organ of injury was the liver (36.26%) followed by splenic trauma in 19.78% of patients. Approximately, 85% of patients were managed conservatively, and only 15% required major surgical intervention in the form of laparotomy and repair of bowel perforation, thoracotomy and ligation of bleeding intercostal vessels, partial and total splenectomy, repair of the liver laceration, and nephrectomy for the patient of Grade 5 renal injury with expanding retroperitoneal hematoma. Three patients died, one of which was Grade 5 renal injury with expanding retroperitoneal hematoma, two others were cases of combined thoracoabdominal trauma with massive hemothorax and both liver and splenic injury.


The study defines the pattern of thoracoabdominal trauma, mode of trauma, and the prevalence of different organs involved in both the chest and abdominal cavity. We concluded that main indications for performing an operative intervention included severe hemodynamic instability, pneumoperitoneum, massive pneumohemothorax with significant shift and definitive confirmation of oral contrast leak on computed tomography films. A detailed trauma registry in our set up seems important for managing pediatric thoracoabdominal trauma.


Liver contusions; nonoperative management; splenic laceration; thoracoabdominal trauma; thoracotomy

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