ISSN : 1301-5680
e-ISSN : 2149-8156
Turkish Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery     
Analysis of 282 patients with thoracic trauma
Aykut Altunkaya1, Erol Aktunç2, Ali Cevat Kutluk 1, Mustafa Büyükateş3, Nejat Demircan2, Ayşe Semra Demir2, Sıtkı Akın Turan3
1Zonguldak Karaelmas Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Göğüs Cerrahisi Anabilim Dalı, Zonguldak
2Zonguldak Karaelmas Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Aile Hekimliği Anabilim Dalı, Zonguldak
3Zonguldak Karaelmas Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Kalp ve Damar Cerrahisi Anabilim Dalı, Zonguldak
Background: Thoracic trauma accounts for 20-25% of all deaths due to trauma during the first four decades of life. In this study, we reviewed patients who presented with thoracic trauma to our center during a three-year period.

Methods: The study included 282 patients (240 males, 42 females; mean age 41±16 years; range 16 to 98 years) over 15 years of age, who were admitted to our emergency outpatient clinic with thoracic trauma between 2003 and 2006. The patients were evaluated with respect to age, gender, etiology, clinical findings, accompanying injuries, surgical indications, surgical interventions, complications, and mortality.

Results: The mean age was 43±17 years (range 16 to 98 years) in men, and 33±10 years (range 16 to 61 years) in women (p<0.001). Men were involved in traumas significantly more than women (p<0.001). Isolated thoracic trauma was seen in 175 patients (62.1%) and multiple trauma in 107 patients (37.9%). Injuries were blunt in 242 patients (85.8) and penetrating in 40 patients (14.2%). Traffic accidents were the leading cause of traumas (n=164, 58.2%). Blunt thoracic injuries were accompanied by associated injuries in 101 patients. Two patients had penetrating thoracic injuries caused by animals. There were only two women with penetrating injuries. Seven patients with blunt thoracic injuries required ventilatory support. Tube thoracostomy was used in all penetrating thoracic injuries and in 150 patients (62%) with blunt trauma. Eleven patients underwent thoracotomy and sternotomy. Mortality occurred in five patients, all of whom had primary injuries other than thoracic trauma. The rates of pneumothorax and lung contusion were higher than those reported in domestic literature. None of the patients had cardiac injuries.

Conclusion: Considering the high rate of traffic accidents in the etiology of blunt thoracic injuries, increasing public awareness for, and attitudes towards, safety driving measures is of special importance in Zonguldak and nationwide.

Keywords : Lung/injuries; thoracic injuries/etiology/epidemiology
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