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Pathophysiology and management of thoracic injury 

Pathophysiology and management of thoracic injury
Chapter:
Pathophysiology and management of thoracic injury
Author(s):

Graciela Bauzá

and Ayodeji Nubi

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199600830.003.0333
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date: 30 November 2020

Mechanism, patient presentation, and physical exam are key elements to accurate and prompt diagnosis of thoracic injury. A high proportion of poly-trauma victims suffer thoracic injury which is associated with mortality of with 25-50%. Initial management is guided by ATLS principles of Airway, Breathing, and Circulation. The FAST (focused assessment with sonography for trauma) exam plays a key role in the initial evaluation of thoracic trauma. Most injuries to the thoracic cavity may be managed non-operatively or with bedside procedures with the caveat that patients with thoracic injury require close attention and monitoring in the ICU for potential deterioration. A high index of suspicion is paramount to successful patient care. When operative intervention is required it is often emergent.

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