Determinants of Mortality in Chest Trauma Patients
Background: Chest trauma is an important trauma globally accounting for about 10% of trauma admission and 25‑50% of trauma death. Different types and severity of chest trauma in different subsets of patients with varying associated injuries result in differing outcomes measured with mortality. Early mitigation of poor prognostic factors could result in improved outcome, therefore the need to know such factors or determinants of mortality in chest trauma patients.
Patients and Methods: Retrospective and prospective analysis of demographic details, socio‑economic, clinical details, modified early warning signs (MEWS) score on presentation, investigation findings, treatment and outcome of chest trauma patients who presented to our cardiothoracic surgery unit was undertaken. Data were collected and were analyzed using WINPEPI Stone Mountain, Georgia: USD Inc; 1995 statistical software.
Results: A total 149 patients with thoracic trauma were studied over a 5 year period constituting 40% of the unit workload. There were 121 males and 28 females (81.2% vs. 18.8%; m: f = 4:1) with age range from 7 to 76 years (mean: 37.42 ± 12.86 years) and about 55% aged 45 years or below and more blunt trauma than penetrating trauma (65.1% vs. 34.9%), but no statistical significance amongst the groups on outcome analysis. Sub‑grouping of the 149 patients according to their on‑admission MEWS score shows that 141 patients had scores of 9 and less and all survived while the remaining eight had scores >9 but all died. As independent variables, age, sex and type of chest injury did not prove to be correlated with mortality with P values of 0.468, 1.000 and 1.000 respectively. However presence of associated extra thoracic organ injury, high on‑admission MEWS score >9, delayed presentation with injury to presentation interval longer than 24 h, and severe chest injury as characterized by bilateral chest involvement correlated positively with mortality with P values of 0.0003, 0.0001, 0.0293 and 0.0236 respectively.
Conclusion: Associated extra thoracic organ injury, high on‑admission MEWS score >9, late presentation beyond 24 h post trauma and severe chest injury with bilateral chest involvement were found to be determinants of mortality in chest trauma.
Keywords: Chest trauma, determinants, mortality