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Ann Surg. 1987 Aug;206(2):200-5.

Blunt thoracic trauma. Analysis of 515 patients.


A retrospective analysis of 515 cases of blunt chest trauma is presented. The overall thoracic morbidity rate was 36% and mortality rate was 15.5%. Atelectasis was the most common complication. Severe chest trauma can be present in the absence of rib or other thoracic bony fractures. Emergency thoracotomies for resuscitation of the patient with blunt chest trauma with absent vital signs proved unsuccessful in 39 of 39 patients. A high index of suspicion for blunt chest injury occurring in blunt trauma, coupled with an aggressive diagnostic and therapeutic approach, remains the cornerstone of treatment to minimize the morbidity and mortality of such injuries.

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