1887
Volume 2021, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1999-7086
  • EISSN: 1999-7094

Abstract

: Traumatic hemothorax is a common consequence of blunt chest trauma. A hemothorax that is missed by initial chest X-ray, but diagnosed by computed tomography (CT), is known as an occult hemothorax. The present study aims at investigating the clinical outcomes of conservative management of occult hemothorax in mechanically ventilated trauma patients. : A retrospective study of all adult blunt chest trauma patients with occult hemothorax requiring mechanical ventilation in a level 1 trauma center was conducted (2010- 2017). Data were obtained from the trauma registry and electronic medical records. Patients were categorized into (a) successful conservative treatment group, and (b) tube thoracostomy group. : During the study period, 78 blunt chest trauma patients who had occult hemothorax required mechanical ventilation. Occult hemothorax was managed conservatively in 69% of the patients, while 31% underwent tube thoracostomy. The main indication for tube thoracostomy was the progression of hemothorax on follow-up chest radiographs. Comparison between groups showed that pulmonary contusions (59% vs. 83%), bilateral hemothorax (26% vs. 58%) and chest infections (9% vs. 29%) were lower in conservatively treated group (p < 0.05). Length of stays in ICU and hospital were also lower (p < 0.05). Longer duration of mechanical ventilation and maximum PEEP were significantly associated with tube thoracostomy. Overall mortality was 12% and was comparable between groups. : Mechanically ventilated patients with occult hemothorax following blunt chest trauma can be managed conservatively without tube thoracostomy. Tube thoracostomy can be restricted to patients who had evidence of progression of hemothorax on follow-up or developed respiratory compromise.

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2021-10-07
2021-10-26
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