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Article
February 19, 1944

WOUNDS OF THE CHEST

Author Affiliations

CINCINNATI

From the Department of Surgery, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and the Cincinnati General Hospital.

JAMA. 1944;124(8):488-491. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850080016005
Abstract

Chest injuries are quite properly divided, for clinical purposes, into two large groups: nonpenetrating wounds and penetrating wounds. The distinction is the obvious one that in the latter there is a break, greater or less in extent, in the normally hermetically sealed thoracic cavity, while in the former such a disruption does not occur. The categories are not entirely mutually exclusive, as an injury producing multiple segmental rib fractures, while not a penetrating wound, may nevertheless produce all the disturbances of physiology present in the most severe types of penetrating wounds. With such obvious exceptions, however, the classification of wounds as penetrating and nonpenetrating serves admirably for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.

NONPENETRATING WOUNDS  Severe contusions of the chest wall producing such bizarre injuries as fractures of the sternum, chondrosternal separation of the ribs, traumatic rupture of a lung, traumatic asphyxia and contusions of the heart do occur in civilian life

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