01.12.2013 | Original Article
Clinical outcomes of multiple rib fractures: does age matter?
H. Abdulrahman, I. Afifi, A.
El-Menyar, A. Al-Hassani, A. Almadani, H. Al-Thani, R. Latifi
European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery
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To evaluate the clinical outcomes of multiple rib fracture due to blunt trauma in young patients, a 3-year retrospective study was conducted. Patients with ≥3 rib fractures were divided into two groups (group I: <45 years old and group II: ≥45 years old). Mortality, hospital stay, ventilatory support, chest tubes insertion and associated injuries were studied.
Of the 902 patients admitted with blunt chest trauma, 240 (27 %) met the inclusion criteria and 72.5 % patients were <45 years old. The most common causes of injury were motor vehicle crash (59 %) and fall (29 %). The Injury Severity Score (ISS) was higher in group I (16 ± 9 vs. 13 ± 6; p = 0.04). Hospital mortality was higher in group II (6 vs. 2 %; p = 0.18). Pneumothorax, haemothorax and ventilatory support were comparable. Patients in group II were more likely to undergo chest tubes insertion (26 vs. 14 %; p = 0.04), while group I had a significantly higher incidence of associated abdominal injuries (25 vs. 12 %; p = 0.03).
Old age presenting with rib fractures is associated with higher mortality in comparison to young age; however, this difference becomes statistically insignificant in the presence of multiple rib fracture.