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J Korean Soc Traumatol. 2009 Dec;22(2):161-166. Korean. Original Article.
Kim JT .
Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Korea.

PURPOSE: This study was conducted to analyze chest-trauma patients and the old-aged patients with a traumatic hemopneumothorax. METHODS: We reviewed the medical records of 101 chest-trauma patients admitted to the department of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery from June 1999 to November 2008. We evaluated the general characteristics of the chest-trauma patient, especially those of old-aged patients with a traumatic hemopneumothorax. RESULTS: Rib fracture was observed in 99 of the cases, the location distribution was right: left =261: 255, with right being dominant. Rib fractures commonly involved the 4th and the 7th rib. The average number of rib fractures was 5.1, and the average number of rib fractures in the old-aged patients was significantly higher than that in the non-old-aged patients (p=0.04). There were 17 cases of a hemopnuemothorax in old-aged patients, 52 cases in non-old-aged patients. The blood loss through the chest tube for old-aged patients was significantly more than that for the non-old-aged patients, and the initial hemoglobin level was lower in the old-aged patients. CONCLUSION: Elderly trauma patients are more likely to die after trauma than other age groups. Even with relatively stable vital signs, invasive hemodynamic monitoring and intensive treatment are recommended.

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