Penetrating Thoraco-abdominal Injury

Menaker, Jay; Scalea, Thomas M.; Falcone, Robert
November 2010
Trauma Reports;Nov/Dec2010, Vol. 11 Issue 6, p1
Academic Journal
Executive Summary; • Penetrating trauma to the torso can present complex diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. • Physicians must have a high degree of suspicion for shock in patients with penetrating thoraco-abdominal trauma who appear stable. • Physicians must quickly assess for tension pneumothorax, large-volume hemorrhage, and pericardial tamponade in patients with penetrating chest trauma. • Studies show as many as 85% of penetrating chest trauma can be managed by tube thoracotomy or observation. • Mandatory surgical exploration for penetrating torso trauma is no longer valid. • Studies show that ultrasound is more sensitive than chest x-ray and is as sensitive as computed tomography for diagnosing pneumothorax.


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