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South Med J. 1994 Apr;87(4):497-501.

Importance of designated thoracic trauma surgeons in the management of traumatic aortic transection.

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Department of Surgery, University of South Florida, Tampa.


The medical literature is replete with reports on traumatic aortic transection. These reports have delineated many factors regarding the morbidity and high mortality of this ominous injury. Most reports are reviews of the collective experience of a single institution over a period of years. It is likely that many authors writing on the subject of traumatic aortic transection have no experience with operative repair of the lesion. There has been debate about the various techniques of primary repair versus graft insertion, as well as the question of whether cardiopulmonary bypass is superior to the "clamp and sew" methods. No studies have directly examined the skills of individual surgeons with respect to outcome. We present the results of a study from a university-affiliated level I trauma center in which the outcomes from various groups of surgeons were compared over a 5-year period. The information in this study strongly suggests that designated thoracic trauma surgeons who are promptly available and have dedicated interests in trauma patients achieve better results.

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