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Lung contusion-lacerations after blunt thoracic trauma in children


Chest trauma in children is an indicator of injury severity and is associated with a high mortality rate. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of pulmonary contusion-laceration on short and long-term outcome of pediatric patients after blunt thoracic trauma. A retrospective analysis of records of 41 children aged 10 months to 17 years who were treated for pulmonary and associated injuries between 1986 and 2000 was done concerning mode of injury, types of injuries, management and outcome. In addition, a follow-up investigation was performed 4.5±1 years after injury. Of the patients 27 were involved in motor vehicle accidents (MVA group) and 14 patients suffered other types of accidents (others group). The mean injury severity score (ISS) was 30±2 (range 9–75) with no significant difference between the groups. Patients from the MVA group suffered more frequently bilateral pulmonary lesions and needed more often chest tube placement (p<0.05), 5 patients died (12%) all from the MVA group. The follow-up investigation of 34 patients showed unremarkable chest x-rays and normal lung function in all but 1 patient with bronchial asthma. In conclusion, children who recover after a pulmonary contusion-laceration trauma do not suffer from significant late respiratory problems.

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Correspondence to M. E. Höllwarth.

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Haxhija, E.Q., Nöres, H., Schober, P. et al. Lung contusion-lacerations after blunt thoracic trauma in children. Ped Surgery Int 20, 412–414 (2004).

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  • Children
  • Pulmonary contusion
  • Thoracic injuries
  • Multiple trauma