Surgical stabilisation in a 13-year-old boy with traumatic flail chest

B.S. Leenstra, A. Stolwijk, M. Poeze

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Flail chest after blunt trauma to the chest has a high morbidity and mortality rate. Traumatic flail chest in children rarely occurs due to flexibility of the ribcage. We describe the case of a 13-year-old boy sustaining a flail chest after a high-energy trauma. Conservative treatment with proper mechanical ventilation and pain management was unsuccessful, and was followed by operative rib fixation. The patient was discharged home 17 days after surgery and, at 4 months follow-up, had fully recovered. This case report shows the possibility of operative rib fixation as treatment for flail chest in children.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBMJ case Reports
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

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