Clinical Presentation and Time-Based Mortality in Patients With Chest Injuries Associated With Road Traffic Accidents


1 Trauma Surgery Section, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar

2 Clinical Research, Trauma Surgery Section, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar



Blunt chest trauma (BCT) poses significant morbidity and mortality worldwide.

We investigated the clinical presentation and outcome of BCT related to road traffic accidents (RTA).

Patients and Methods
A retrospective observational analysis for patients who sustained BCT secondary to RTA in terms of motor vehicle crash (MVC) and pedestrian-motor vehicle accidents (PMVA) who were admitted to the trauma center at Hamad general hospital, Doha, Qatar, between 2008 and 2011.

Of 5118 traumatic injury cases, 1004 (20%) were found to have BCT secondary to RTA (77% MVC and 23% PMVA). The majority were males (92%), and expatriates (72%). Among MVCs, 84% reported they did not use protective devices. There was a correlation between chest abbreviated injury score (AIS) and injury severity scoring (ISS) (r = 0.35, r2 = 0.12, P < 0.001). Regardless of mechanism of injury (MOI), multivariate analysis showed that the head injury associated with chest AIS and ISS was a predictor of mortality in BCT. Overall mortality was 15%, and the highest rate was observed within the first 24 hours post-trauma.

Blunt chest trauma from RTA represents one-fifth of the total trauma admissions in Qatar, with a high overall mortality. Pedestrians are likely to have more severe injuries and higher fatality rates than MVC victims. Specific injury prevention programs focusing on road safety should be implemented to minimize the incidence of such preventable injuries.