Five thousand seven hundred sixty cardiovascular injuries in 4459 patients. Epidemiologic evolution 1958 to 1987

Ann Surg. 1989 Jun;209(6):698-705; discussion 706-7. doi: 10.1097/00000658-198906000-00007.


Large epidemiologic analyses of cardiovascular injuries have been limited to studies of military campaigns compiled from many surgeons working in many hospitals with variable protocols. A detailed civilian vascular trauma registry provides a unique opportunity for an epidemiologic evolutionary profile. During the last 30 years in a single civilian trauma center directed by a consistent evaluation and treatment philosophy, 4459 patients were treated for 5760 cardiovascular injuries. Eighty-six per cent of the patients were male, and the average age was 30.0 years. Penetrating trauma was the etiology in more than 90% (GSW,51.5%; SW,31.1%; SGW,6.8%). All other injuries were iatrogenic or secondary to blunt trauma. Truncal injuries (including the neck) accounted for 66% of all injuries treated, while lower extremity injuries (including the groin) accounted for only 19%. Injuries to the abdominal vasculature accounted for 33.7% of the injuries. One thousand fifty-seven patients had 2 or more concurrent vascular injuries, and 32 patients had 4 or more separate vascular injuries. The 27 patients-per-year average of the early 1960s has risen to a current average of 213 patients per year. Economic and population factors influenced wounding agents and injury patterns during the evaluation period. This extensive civilian series presents epidemiologic profiles that are distinctly different from military reports and serves as a guide for current trauma center and health planners.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular System / injuries*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epidemiologic Methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Texas
  • Wounds, Gunshot / epidemiology
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / epidemiology*
  • Wounds, Penetrating / epidemiology*
  • Wounds, Stab / epidemiology