Original Article

Evaluation of the Cases Who Underwent Thoracotomy after Penetrating Chest Trauma


  • Serkan Sönmez Sağay
  • Zeynep Karakaya
  • Şerafettin Demir

Received Date: 17.10.2011 Accepted Date: 07.02.2012 Eurasian J Emerg Med 2012;11(4):197-199


Penetrating chest traumas are one of the most serious injuries with clinical outcomes and patients profile. İn this study, we evaluated our clinical experience obtained from thoracotomy patients together with the related literature.

Material and Methods:

Records of 36 patients who were treated by thoracotomy and were admitted for penetrating thorax trauma between 2009-2011 were retrospectively reviewed. Only the conservatively treated patients with penetrating chest trauma were excluded.


Thirty-two of the cases were men and 4 were women. Twenty-eight patients had sharp penetrating trauma and eight patients had gunshot wounds. Pulmonary paranchymal laceration was the most common intrathoracic pathology which was detected in 28 patients. Seven patients had extrathoracic organ injury. The most common cause of extrathoracic organ injury was liver laceration, observed in 4 patients. Cardiac injury was detected in 5 patients and mortality occurred in two patients among cardiac injury patients. Morbidty occurred in seven patients and the most common cause was improved atelectasis.


Since penetrating chest trauma causes a disruption of the cardiorespiratory system in a very short time, early diagnosis and treatment is life saving. The accompanying extrathoracic injuries that cause increased mortality and morbidity rates can be minimized through a multidisciplinary approach.

Keywords: Penetrating trauma, thoracotomy, cardiac injury