Pulmonary contusion in the pediatric population.

Am Surg 2010 Jul;76(7):721-4

Memorial Health University Medical Center, Georgia Ear Institute, Savannah 31404, USA.

Pulmonary contusion in the adult population is an independent risk factor for respiratory failure, ventilator associated pneumonia, and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Pilot studies in adults note an increased risk when volume of pulmonary contusion exceeds 20 per cent of total lung volume. The purpose of this study was to determine if children with pulmonary contusion suffer the same morbidity as adults. From January 2005 to May 2007, all trauma patients ages 3 to 18-years-old were assessed for CT evidence of pulmonary contusion. Children were excluded if injury included confounding variables, which could result in respiratory failure independent of contusion status. CT images were reviewed and pulmonary contusion was calculated as a percentage of total lung volume. Outcomes including need for invasive ventilation, pneumonia, and development of oxygenation problems were recorded. Data collected included patient age, Injury Severity Score, arterial blood gas findings, and number of rib fractures. Twenty-six patients met criteria for the study with a mean age of 13.35 years and mean Injury Severity Score of 24. The mean percentage of pulmonary contusion was 19.81 per cent. No patients required intubation. Pediatric pulmonary contusion does not carry the same morbidity as noted in the adult population. Invasive airway management is rarely required.

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July 2010
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