ADVANCES in the care of traumatic injuries have often coincided with wars where large numbers of casualties are concentrated in both time and space. In civilian practice, injuries tend to be more widely distributed and advances in management come more slowly and spread less quickly. Patterns and trends of injury are difficult to recognize and therapy is often based on incomplete or misunderstood evidence. Progress in the understanding of respiratory physiology and mechanics has radically changed the concepts of management of chest injury.1-3 At the same time, the general use of the automobile has increased the frequency with which chest trauma is seen in civilian practice. How this affects the overall pattern of chest injury is unknown.
This retrospective study was undertaken to determine the extent and pattern of chest injury in a 16-year period at one hospital.
The records of all chest injury patients admitted to Colorado