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Ann Surg. 1981 Jan;193(1):70-5.

Morbidity and mortality rates in major blunt trauma to the upper chest.


It is widely believed that fractures of the first rib are associated with more severe injuries than fractures of other ribs. To confirm or refute that belief, we conducted a retrospective review of 168 patients with major blunt trauma resulting in fractures of the upper ribs treated at the North Carolina Baptist Hospital. A comparison of morbidity and mortality rates in relation to highest rib fractured showed essentially no correlation. We concluded that all patients with deceleration or crushing injuries involving upper-rib fractures must be suspected of having significant multiple organ system trauma and evaluated accordingly.

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