Concomitant Sternal Fracture in Flail Chest: An Analysis of 21,741 Polytrauma Patients from the TraumaRegister DGU®
15 October 2016
28 December 2016
10 February 2017 (eFirst)
Background Isolated sternal fractures (SFs) rarely show complications, but their influence in a thorax trauma of the seriously injured still remains unclear.
Methods A retrospective analysis of the TraumaRegister DGU® was performed involving the years 2009 to 2013 (Injury Severity Score [ISS] ≥ 16, primary admission to a trauma center). Cohort formation: Unilateral and bilateral flail chest (FC) injuries with and without a concomitant SF, respectively.
Results In total, 21,741 patients (25% female) met the inclusion criteria, with 3,492 (16.1%) showing SF. Unilateral FC patients were on average 53.6 ± 18.4 years old, and bilateral FC patients were on average 55.2 ± 17.7 years old. The ISS in unilateral FC and bilateral FC amounted to 31.2 ± 13.0 and 43.4 ± 13.1 points, respectively. FC with an SF occurred more frequently as an injury to car occupants and less frequently as an injury to motorcyclists or in injuries due to falls.
Conclusion Patients with an SF additional to an FC had longer hospital and intensive care unit stays and were longer artificially respirated than those patients without an SF. SF indicates possible cardiac and thoracic spine injuries.