Objective: To identify factors associated with intensive care unit (ICU) admission in patients with traumatic thoracic injury.
Methods: Data for consecutive patients with thoracic trauma were collected prospectively. Outcomes were requirement for ICU care and prolonged (>7 days) ICU care.
Results: The study included 1333 patients, 484 (36.3%) of whom received ICU care: 125 of these (25.8%) received prolonged ICU care. Head injury, abdominal injury, injury severity score ≥ 16, haemothorax, chest tube placement and spinal surgery were significantly associated with ICU care. Head injury, number of rib fractures, chest drain placement, spinal surgery and extremity surgery were independent risk factors for prolonged ICU care.
Conclusions: Associated injury factors played a more prominent role than thoracic factors in the need for ICU and prolonged ICU care. A multidisciplinary trauma team (involving neurosurgeons, abdominal surgeons, orthopaedic surgeons and thoracic surgeons) is essential for the care of patients with traumatic thoracic injury.
Keywords: Thoracic trauma; associated injury; intensive care; predictors.