Battle et al identified risk factors associated with mortality following blunt chest wall trauma. These can help to identify a patient who may benefit from more aggressive management. The authors are from the University of Wales Swansea and Morriston Hospital in Swansea, Wales.


Patient selection: blunt trauma to the chest wall


Risk factors for mortality:

(1) age >= 65 years

(2) >= 3 rib fractures

(3) pre-existing cardiopulmonary disease (congestive heart failure, etc or other significant comorbid condition

(4) pneumonia following the injury



• The odds ratios for the first 3 risk factors was about 2. The OR for pneumonia was 5.2.

• The presence of significant trauma elsewhere would increase the risk.


Mortality increased with the number of risk factors.


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