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Case Report
Chest Wall Reconstruction for the Treatment of Lung Herniation and Respiratory Failure 1 Month after Emergency Thoracotomy in a Patient with Traumatic Flail Chest
Junepill Seok, Il Jae Wang
J Trauma Inj. 2021;34(4):284-287.   Published online August 31, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.20408/jti.2020.0059
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AbstractAbstract PDF

We report a case of delayed chest wall reconstruction after thoracotomy. A 53-year-old female, a victim of a motor vehicle accident, presented with bilateral multiple rib fractures with flail motion and multiple extrathoracic injuries. Whole-body computed tomography revealed multiple fractures of the bilateral ribs, clavicle, and scapula, and bilateral hemopneumothorax with severe lung contusions. Active hemorrhage was also found in the anterior pelvis, which was treated by angioembolization. The patient was transferred to the surgical intensive care unit for follow-up. We planned to perform surgical stabilization of rib fractures (SSRF) because her lung condition did not seem favorable for general anesthesia. Within a few hours, however, massive hemorrhage (presumably due to coagulopathy) drained through the thoracic drainage catheter. We performed an exploratory thoracotomy in the operating room. We initially planned to perform exploratory thoracotomy and “on the way out” SSRF. In the operating room, the hemorrhage was controlled; however, her condition deteriorated and SSRF could not be completed. SSRF was completed after about a month owing to other medical conditions, and the patient was weaned successfully.

Summary
Original Article
Comparison of Rib Fracture Location for Morbidity and Mortality in Flail Chest
Chun Sung Byun, Il Hwan Park, Geum Suk Bae, Pil Yeong Jeong, Joong Hwan Oh
J Trauma Inj. 2013;26(3):170-174.
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AbstractAbstract PDF
PURPOSE
A flail chest is one of most challenging problems for trauma surgeons. It is usually accompanied by significant underlying pulmonary parenchymal injuries and mayled to a life-threatening thoracic injury. In this study, we evaluated the treatment result for a flail chest to determine the effect of trauma localization on morbidity and mortality.
METHODS
Between 2004 and 2011, 46 patients(29 males/17 females) were treated for a flail chest. The patients were divided into two group based on the location of the trauma in the chest wall; Group I contained patients with an anterior flail chest due to a bilateral costochondral separation (n=27) and Group II contained patients with a single-side posterolateral flail chest due to a segmental rib fracture (n=19). The location of the trauma in the chest wall, other injuries, mechanical ventilation support, prognosis and ISS (injury severity score) were retrospectively examined in the two groups.
RESULTS
Mechanical ventilation support was given in 38 patients(82.6%), and 7 of these 38 patients required a subsequent tracheostomy. The mean ISS for all 46 patients was 19.08+/-10.57. Between the two groups, there was a significant difference in mean ventilator time (p<0.048), but no significant difference in either trauma-related morbidity (p=0.369) or mortality (p=0.189).
CONCLUSION
An anterior flail chest frequently affects the two underlying lung parenchyma and can cause a bilateral lung contusion, a hemopneumothorax and lung hemorrhage. Thus, it needs longer ventilator care than a lateral flail chest does and is more frequently associated with pulmonary complications with poor outcome than a lateral flail chest is. In a severe trauma patient with a flail chest, especially an anterior flail chest, we must pay more attention to the pulmonary care strategy and the bronchial toilet.
Summary

J Trauma Inj : Journal of Trauma and Injury