Blunt chest trauma in the elderly

J Trauma. 1989 Feb;29(2):234-7. doi: 10.1097/00005373-198902000-00016.


Significant differences were identified between a group of elderly patients (65 years and older) and a nonelderly group both with blunt thoracic trauma. There was a lower incidence of elderly patients presenting in shock; however, cardiopulmonary arrest at arrival was more frequent in this group. Although the types of complications were similar in both populations, the morbidity and mortality rates were higher in the elderly. A high index of suspicion must be generated for an elderly patient who has sustained blunt chest trauma. An aggressive diagnostic and therapeutic approach may lead to a decrease in the high morbidity and mortality rates in the elderly.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Baltimore
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multiple Trauma / complications
  • Multiple Trauma / epidemiology
  • Multiple Trauma / mortality
  • Rib Fractures / complications
  • Rib Fractures / epidemiology
  • Rib Fractures / mortality
  • Sex Factors
  • Thoracic Injuries / complications
  • Thoracic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Thoracic Injuries / mortality
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / complications
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / epidemiology*
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / mortality