Long-term pulmonary function after recovery from pulmonary contusion due to blunt chest trauma

Anat Amital, David Shitrit, Benjamin D. Fox, Yael Raviv, Leonardo Fuks, Irit Terner, Mordechai R. Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Blunt chest trauma can cause severe acute pulmonary dysfunction due to hemo/pneumothorax, rib fractures and lung contusion. Objectives: To study the long-term effects on lung function tests after patients' recovery from severe chest trauma. Methods: We investigated the outcome and lung function tests in 13 patients with severe blunt chest trauma and lung contusion. Results: The study group comprised 9 men and 4 women with an average age of 44.6 ± 13 years (median 45 years). Ten had been injured in motor vehicle accidents and 3 had fallen from a height. In addition to lung contusion most of them had fractures of more than three ribs and hemo/ pneumothorax. Ten patients were treated with chest drains. Mean intensive care unit stay was 11 days (range 0-90) and mechanical ventilation 19 (0-60) days. Ten patients had other concomitant injuries. Mean forced expiratory volume in the first second was 81.2 ± 15.3%, mean forced vital capacity was 85 ± 13%, residual volume was 143 ± 33.4%, total lung capacity was 101 ± 14% and carbon monoxide diffusion capacity 87 ± 24. Post-exercise oxygen saturation was normal in all patients (97 ± 1.5%), and mean oxygen consumption max/kg was 18 ± 4.3 ml/kg/min (60.2 ± 15%). FEV1 was significantly lower among smokers (71.1 ± 12.2 vs. 89.2 ± 13.6%, P = 0.017). There was a non-significant tendency towards lower FEV1 among patients who underwent mechanical ventilation. Conclusions: Late after severe trauma involving lung contusion, substantial recovery was demonstrated with improved pulmonary function tests. These results encourage maximal intensive care in these patients. Further larger studies are required to investigate different factors affecting prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-676
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Volume11
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Contusion
  • Lung function
  • Pneumothorax
  • Trauma

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