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Revista chilena de enfermedades respiratorias

versión On-line ISSN 0717-7348


GONZALEZ L., Roberto et al. Blunt Thoracic Trauma. Rev. chil. enferm. respir. [online]. 2019, vol.35, n.2, pp.96-103. ISSN 0717-7348.


Thoracic trauma (TT) is a major cause of morbimortality, involved in 25-50% of trauma deaths. Internationally, blunt thoracic trauma (BTT) is the most frequent type of TT.


Our objectives are to describe the clinical characteristics, treatments, morbidity and mortality in patients hospitalized by blunt thoracic trauma (BTT) in our institution.

Material and Methods:

Cross-sectional descriptive study from january-1981 to december-2017. Prospective database review, surgical protocols and clinical files. The characteristics of the BTT are described and compared. The following trauma severity indices (TSI) were calculated: Injury Severity Score (ISS), Revised Trauma Score (RTS-T) and Trauma Injury Severity Score (TRISS).


4,163 patients were hospitalized because of TT, 1.719 (41.3%) of them with BTT. 1,327 (77.2%)patients were men, average age 46.7 ± 18.8 years-old. We considered isolated TT 966 (56.2%), associated with extrathoracic lesions 753 (43,8%) and 508 (29.6%)with polytraumatism.


Traffic accident 838 (48.7%), fall down from a height 279 (16.2%). Lesions and intrathoracic findings: rib fracture 1.294 (75.3%), pneumothorax 752 (43.7%).


Medical 876 (50.8%), pleurotomy 704 (41%) and thoracic surgery 141 (8.2%). Average hospitalized period 9.2 ± 9.5 days. According to TSI: ISS average 14.1 ± 11.1, RTS-T average 11.5 ± 1.5, TRISS average 6.6. Morbidity in 297 (17.3%), mortality in 68 (4%).


The TTC was mainly attributed to the traffic accident. Rib fracture was the most common chest injury. The majority of patients required only medical treatment. Mortality was lower than expected according to TSI.

Palabras clave : Thoracic injury; rib fractures; pneumothorax; thoracic surgery; injury severity score; accidents, traffic.

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