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October 1965

Immediate Repair of Traumatic Rupture of Thoracic Aorta

Arch Surg. 1965;91(4):602-603. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1965.01320160056012

MOST TRAUMATIC ruptures of the aorta result in death before the victim reaches the hospital. Some survivors respond to resuscitative efforts and may be subjected to deliberate study by angiography with subsequent repair employing bypass techniques. An undetermined number do not respond, even temporarily, and immediate repair without elaborate study offers the only hope of survival. These patients who are in deep shock and who may already be paraplegic cannot be transferred to another institution with any likelihood of survival. In general, repair of traumatic ruptures of the thoracic aorta have been thought to be irreparable without extracorporeal circulatory assistance.1 There are approximately 7,200 hospitals in the United States and it seems conservative to estimate that two thirds are not equipped with mechanical devices for extracorporeal blood pumping. If we conclude that patients who are in deep shock cannot be moved to more adequate facilities, then, according to this