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September 1978

Blunt Chest Trauma

Arch Surg. 1978;113(9):1114. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1978.01370210096026

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Blunt Chest Trauma is a monograph of nine chapters and 247 pages dealing with thoracic injuries incurred in modern "contact" society. The motor vehicle is the prime source of such injuries, but contact sports, falls from heights, and industrial accidents provide not insignificant numbers. The book deals exclusively with blunt injuries. In contrast to open or penetrating wounds where the need for surgical intervention is obvious, the extent of damage in blunt trauma is not always easily assessed, particularly on initial evaluation. Add to this the fact that the bulk of initial emergency care in this country is now provided by emergency physicians who cannot be expected, even with appropriate experience, to have the expertise of the thoracic surgeon.

So, the principal ingredients of the need for a textbook exist: frequency of the problem, difficulty, and complexity of diagnosis, and a new breed of caretakers who depend on guiding principles.

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