Author(s): Rashid MA, Wikstrm T, Ortenwall P
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To present our experience of cardiac injuries treated at one Swedish emergency department in the 10 years 1988-97. DESIGN: Retrospective study. SETTING: Teaching hospital. SUBJECTS: 11 patients (9 men and 2 women, mean age 33 years, range 19-54); in 7 they were penetrating injuries and in 4 blunt. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Morbidity and mortality. RESULTS: The mechanisms of injury were stab wound (n = 7), and car crash, fall, boat crash, and abuse (n = 1 each); drug or alcohol misuse played a part in all those with penetrating injuries. The penetrating wounds involved the left ventricle (n = 3), the right ventricle (n = 2), and the pericardium (n = 2). All 5 patients with ventricular wounds presented with cardiac tamponade, in 1 of whom it was fatal (he bled to death during emergency thoracotomy). The main complications were anoxic brain damage and postpericardiotomy syndrome (1 each). There was no case of myocardial concussion. CONCLUSION: Our data reflect the Swedish experience of heart trauma: there are few cases, alcohol and drug misuse is the principal risk factor, and there were no gunshot wounds.
This article was published in Eur J Surg
and referenced in Journal of Trauma & Treatment