Sternal fractures

Associated injuries and management

Michael W. Hills, Andrea M. Delprado, Stephen A. Deane*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

80 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Prospective data from blunt trauma victims admitted to one hospital were analyzed to determine the significance of sternal fractures and possible associated injuries. A total of 12,618 patients were admitted over a 6 1/2 year period, of whom 2226 (17.6%) were injured while in a motor vehicle. One hundred seventy-two sternal fractures were recorded with 152 (89%) occurring in motor vehicle occupants. Vehicle occupants with sternal fractures included a greater proportion of patients over 50 years (56% vs. 11%), more females (55% vs. 34%) and more seat belt wearers (70% vs. 40%). There was no association with serious visceral chest injury (including cardiac contusion). There was an association with thoracic spine fractures (Chi-squared 5.871, df=1, p< 0.05). Sternal fractures in motor vehicle occupants were associated with less injury overall (median ISS = 5.5) compared with those without sternal fractures (median ISS = 13). Assessment of such patients should include age and injury mechanism to reduce the rate of admission and investigation of patients whose sole injury is a sternal fracture without significant pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-60
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Volume35
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

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