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Blunt thoracic trauma in children and adults.

Few researchers have investigated differences in injury patterns between adults and children. Skinner et al. [7] compare and contrast the incidence and outcomes of blunt thoracic trauma in these two groups.

The commonest mechanism of injury was a motor vehicle collision (MVC), with 75.0% of children being injured during (preventable!) pedestrian MVCs. Injury patterns differed between adults and children. Children are far more likely than adults to sustain head injury together with their thoracic trauma, because of their proportionally larger head-to-thoracic ratio and their injury as pedestrians. Thoracic injuries consisted predominantly of pulmonary contusions, rib fractures, flail chests and blunt cardiac injury, the incidence of pulmonary contusion being highest in the paediatric group. The increased skeletal compliance and absence of rib fractures in children can make the diagnosis of pulmonary contusions especially difficult--absence of rib fractures in injured children does not signal its absence. Blunt cardiac injury in children is relatively underdiagnosed, but when clinically relevant diagnostic criteria were applied, the authors found a surprisingly high incidence of 10%. Do bacterial STIs enhance HIV susceptibility?

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Title Annotation:EDITOR'S CHOICE
Publication:South African Medical Journal
Article Type:Editorial
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Jan 1, 2015
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