The characteristics and outcomes of penetrating thoracic and abdominal trauma among children

Pediatr Surg Int. 2013 Aug;29(8):795-800. doi: 10.1007/s00383-013-3339-z. Epub 2013 Jun 29.


Purpose: Trauma is the most important etiology of morbidity and mortality among children. Penetrating injuries to the thorax and abdomen are extremely rare in children. In the present study, we compared the characteristics of patients, management, and outcomes of penetrating thoracic and abdominal trauma in children.

Materials and methods: Data from children who were hospitalized for penetrating injuries of the thorax and abdomen from 2006 to 2012 were evaluated retrospectively. These injuries were evaluated with respect to patient details, clinical presentation, circumstances of trauma, management, and outcomes.

Results: Eighty-four patients were hospitalized for penetrating injuries to the thorax and abdomen. The mean age was 10.3 ± 3.79 years. Patient injuries comprised 26 gunshots injuries and 58 stabbing injuries. Thirty-one patients were wounded in the thorax, 43 were wounded in the abdomen, and 10 were wounded in both the thorax and abdomen. Thirty-one patients had undergone surgical interventions, while the other 53 were managed conservatively. The mean hospital stay was 4.41 ± 6.84 days.

Conclusions: The incidences of penetrating abdominal and thoracic trauma did not differ significantly. Penetrating injuries may be successfully managed by conservative therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Abdominal Injuries / therapy*
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thoracic Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Thoracic Injuries / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wounds, Penetrating / diagnosis*
  • Wounds, Penetrating / therapy*