M. Inan MD; S. Ayvaz MD; N. Sut MD; B. Aksu MD; U. N. Basaran MD; T. Ceylan MD.
BLUNT CHEST TRAUMA IN CHILDHOOD
Article first published online: 17 JUL 2007
ANZ Journal of Surgery
Volume 77, Issue 8, pages 682–685, August 2007
How to Cite
Inan, M., Ayvaz, S., Sut, N., Aksu, B., Basaran, U. N. and Ceylan, T. (2007), BLUNT CHEST TRAUMA IN CHILDHOOD. ANZ Journal of Surgery, 77: 682–685. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-2197.2007.04186.x
- Issue published online: 17 JUL 2007
- Article first published online: 17 JUL 2007
- Accepted for publication 7 January 2007.
- blunt thoracic trauma;
- motor vehicle accident;
- paediatric trauma score;
- pulmonary contusion
Background: Although thoracic injuries are uncommon in children, their rate of morbidity and mortality is high. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical features of children with blunt chest injury and to investigate the predictive accuracy of their paediatric trauma scores (PTS).
Methods: Between September 1996 and September 2006, children with blunt thoracic trauma were evaluated retrospectively. Clinical features and PTS of the patients were recorded.
Results: There were 27 male and 17 female patients. The mean age was 7.1 ± 3.4 years, and the mean PTS was 7.6 ± 2.4. Nineteen cases were injuries caused by motor vehicle/pedestrian accidents, 11 motor vehicle accidents, 8 falls and 6 motor vehicle/bicycle or motorbike accidents. The following were noted: 28 pulmonary contusions, 12 pneumothoraxes, 10 haemothoraxes, 9 rib fractures, 7 haemopneumothoraxes, 5 clavicle fractures and 2 flail chests, 1 diaphragmatic rupture and 1 pneumatocele case. The cut-off value of PTS to discriminate mortality was found to be ≤4, at which point sensitivity was 75.0% and specificity was 92.5%. Twenty-seven patients were treated non-operatively, 17 were treated with a tube thoracostomy and two were treated with a thoracotomy. Four patients who suffered head and abdominal injuries died (9.09%).
Conclusion: Thoracic injuries in children expose a high mortality rate as a consequence of head or abdominal injuries. PTS may be helpful to identify mortality in children with blunt chest trauma. Blunt thoracic injuries in children can be treated with a non-operative approach and a tube thoracostomy.