Pain management in blunt thoracic trauma

“PAIN MANAGEMENT IN BLUNT THORACIC TRAUMA” (BTT) AN EVIDENCE-BASED OUTCOME EVALUATION
2ND REVIEW – 2003
Copyright 2004 – Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma

I STATEMENT OF PROBLEM AND QUESTIONS TO BE ADDRESSED

Studies of the consequences and treatment of blunt thoracic trauma (BTT) remain hampered by a varying pathologic definition of the disease. Entities typically classified as BTT include chest wall lesions such as rib fractures, flail chest and soft tissue contusion; intrapleural lesions such as hemothorax and pneumothorax; parenchymal lung injuries such as pulmonary contusion and lung laceration; and finally mediastinal lesions such as blunt cardiac injury. For purposes of this evidence-based review we are concerned primarily with those injuries to the chest wall that produce their morbidity through pain and it’s associated mechanical ventilatory impairment. Thus, blunt chest trauma (BTT) is defined here to include soft tissue trauma and injuries to the bony thorax such as rib fractures and flail chest.

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