Beginning in 1946, 577 patients with inferior vena cava injuries were managed at a single institution. After decreasing from 37 to 30 percent, the mortality rate showed a distinct increase in the last 7 years studied. This increase was related to an increasing percentage of patients who arrived in the emergency center in severe shock and required resuscitative thoracotomy. In-hospital care advances have not kept pace with improvements in prehospital care. Although venous complications have not been infrequent, morbidity has not been a significant long-term problem. Fatal pulmonary embolism occurred and was a special problem for patients over the age of 50. More basic research is needed to expedite diagnosis and vascular control in addition to understanding and treating the severe metabolic problems of patients dying from shock and hemorrhage.