Chest Trauma, Blunt

Chest Trauma, Blunt is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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  • Significant source of morbidity and mortality in US
  • ∼12 thoracic trauma victims per million population per day
  • ∼33% of these injuries require hospital admission.
  • Directly responsible for 20–25% of all deaths attributed to trauma
  • Contributing cause of death in 25% of patients who die from other traumatic injuries


  • Common mechanisms of injury include:
    • Motor vehicle collisions (70–80%)
    • Motorcycle collisions
    • Pedestrians struck by a motor vehicle
    • Falls from great heights
    • Assaults
    • Blast injuries
    • Sports-related injuries
  • Injuries can result from direct blunt force to the chest or from forces related to rapid deceleration.

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