Chest trauma in a regional tRAUMA centRE

J West Afr Coll Surg. 2012 Apr;2(2):91-101.


Background: Chest trauma is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Hospital based studies in Nigeria show it predominantly affects the youth in society. Aim & Objectives: To determine the pattern and management outcomes of patient presenting with chest trauma at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria.

Materials and methods: This is a prospective study of 73 consecutive patients managed for chest injuries between January 2008 and February 2009 at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City.

Results: A total of 73 patients were enrolled in the study. The mean age was 31.5years and median age of 29years. About 81% of the patients were 42yrs and below while 10% were more than 50yrs old. About 88% of the patients were males while 12% were females giving a male: female ratio of 1:7 Most (56%) of the patients were single. Motor Vehicular Accidents (MVAs) accounted for 52% while 43%% were due to violence or assaults. Motorcycle accidents accounted for 15% while Cars, Buses, Vans, Trucks accounted for 37%. Penetrating trauma accounted for 43% of which gunshot wounds accounted for 25%, and stab injuries accounted for 13(18%). About 53% were isolated blunt chest injuries whereas 43% were isolated penetrating chest injuries; 4% of the cases sustained both penetrating and blunt injuries. About 27% presented within an hour of injury, while in all, 95% of the patients presented within 24hours of injury. Diaphragmatic injuries were sustained in 6(8%) patients while cardiac injury was observed in one patient.

Conclusion: Chest trauma predominantly affects the youth with high morbidity and mortality in this environment. Public enlightenment with prompt and effective treatment will impact positively on this persistent problem.

Keywords: Benin City; Chest trauma; High mortality and morbidity; Nigeria.