Trauma to the Thoracic Cage – An Autopsy Study

Authors

  • Thankamma P. George1 , K. Sreekumari2 , Sreedevi C. S.3

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.37506/mlu.v20i3.1403

Keywords:

fracture, rib, vertebrae, sternum, injury, chest, trauma, death

Abstract

Background: Injuries of the chest causing disruption of the thoracic cage are increasing daily. Thoracic

cage may be injured due to blunt trauma like blows, compression of chest or grinding force of automobile

run over or due to penetrating injuries.

Method: This study analysed the pattern of injury thoracic cage in victims in trauma. 250 cases brought to

a tertiary care institution for autopsy were studied from 1st January 2005 to 30th November 2005(1st July

2005-30th November prospectively, and 1st January-30th June 2005, retrospectively). A cross sectional study

design including all cases of trauma to the thorax and heart with consecutive sampling was done. Data was

collected in pro forma and analysed.

Results: 206 victims were males. 130 (52%) were victims of road traffic accidents Pedestrians constituted

the majority (26.4%). External injuries were not found in 67 cases (26.8%). Involvement of rib alone

constituted 93 cases (37.2 %) followed by combination of rib and lung 54 cases (21.6 %), rib and sternum

13 cases (5.2%), sternum and lung 12 cases (4.8 %) and combination of various other organs occurred in 67

cases (26.8%). Simple fractures were the common rib injury in both sides. 34 cases (13.6%) with vertebral

injuries were observed and 19 were associated with spinal cord injury.

Conclusions: There is little that the autopsy surgeon can contribute to elucidate the factors leading to

accidental deaths. Multiple regression is useful to correlate between predictor and outcome variables.

Hopefully, future research will improve the methodology to predict the outcome of trauma to thoracic cage

accurately.

Author Biography

Thankamma P. George1 , K. Sreekumari2 , Sreedevi C. S.3

1 Associate Professor and Deputy Police Surgeon, Department of Forensic Medicine, Government Medical College

Thiruvananthapuram, 2 Joint Director of Medical Education, Directorate of Medical Education, Government of

Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, 3Professor and Police Surgeon, Department of Forensic Medicine, Government

Medical College, Trissur

Published

2020-07-24

How to Cite

Thankamma P. George1 , K. Sreekumari2 , Sreedevi C. S.3. (2020). Trauma to the Thoracic Cage – An Autopsy Study. Medico Legal Update, 20(3), 239-245. https://doi.org/10.37506/mlu.v20i3.1403

Most read articles by the same author(s)