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April 28, 1962

Blunt Trauma to the Aorta and Major Arteries

Author Affiliations

Memphis, Tenn.

JAMA. 1962;180(4):330-332. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050170062016b
Abstract

THE AORTA and major arteries of the body are subject to a variety of injuries. Penetrating injuries, such as stab wounds, gunshot wounds, and the like, usually lacerate the vessels, and most physicians are fully cognizant of the urgency of prompt and vigorous treatment of this type of trauma. It is not as well appreciated, however, that nonpenetrating trauma can produce rupture of the aorta, lacerations of major vessels, thrombosis with resultant gangrenous ischemia, arteriovenous fistulas, and contusion with spasm severe enough to completely close off arterial flow.

Because of the absence of a penetrating wound, this type of injury to the arteries is apt to be less vigorously treated, and often disastrous results follow because of delay. The absence of a penetrating wound should not delay treatment if one finds evidence of arterial occlusion.

We have collected and studied 22 cases in which blunt trauma caused aortic or arterial

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