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CASE REPORTS
Traumatic tension pneumopericardium: A rare complication
P Vivekananthan, Mudalipalayam N Sivakumar, Mohamed Hisham, S Lakshmikanthcharan
January-December 2017, 2(1):14-16
DOI:10.4103/jctt.jctt_12_16  
A 36- year old male was admitted with shock following a road traffic accident. The patient had a low Glasgow Coma Scale score of 8/15 for which he was ventilated and intubated. Computed tomography scan showed pneumomediastinum and pneumopericardium along with left-sided hemopneumothorax. Hemopneumothorax was addressed with an intercostal drain. There was no further blood loss. Persisting hemodynamic compromise needing inotropic support prompted a diagnosis of tamponading effect of pneumopericardium. Pericardiocentesis was performed which resulted in immediate hemodynamic stability. The patient was discharged from intensive care unit after tracheostomy and had a complete recovery. Tension pneumopericardium is an extremely rare condition which can be fatal if left untreated. Prompt suspicion, diagnosis, and treatment of the condition in a hemodynamically unstable trauma patient can be lifesaving.
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ORIGINAL ARTICLES
What is the minimum fixation required to repair flail chest?
Kate Wallwork, Jenny Mitchell, Najib Rahman, Elizabeth Belcher
January-December 2019, 4(1):14-19
DOI:10.4103/jctt.jctt_5_19  
Context: Flail chest is associated with significant mortality risk. Chest wall repair is associated with improved outcomes; however, the optimal fixation technique is unknown. Aims: We undertook a review to assess the optimal fixation technique required in order to successfully repair flail chest. Subjects and Methods: This is a retrospective review of consecutive patients with multiple rib fractures undergoing surgical fixation. The predictive value of ratio of fractures fixed in relation to flail segment and ratio of ribs fixed in relation to flail segment was assessed by the primary outcome measure of requirement for reoperation. Results: Thirty-one patients presenting with symptomatic rib fractures were referred to a single surgeon for primary management or a second opinion following previous fixation, between August 2011 and October 2018, and underwent repair. Twenty-two patients were male (71%), and the median age was 66 years (range: 18–81). Twenty-seven patients (87%) were diagnosed with flail segment. Twenty-four patients had a “Fracture Fixation to Flail” ratio (Fx: Fl) ≥1, and none required further rib fixation, whereas three patients had Fx: Fl<1, two of whom (67%) required further rib fixation (P = 0.0085). Twenty patients had Rx: Fl≥1, and none required further rib fixation, whereas seven patients had Rx: Fl<1, in whom five (71%) required no further intervention and two (29%) required further rib fixation (P = 0.0598). Minimum fixation number (MFN) was calculated. MFN was achieved in 22 of 27 patients. Two of the four patients with MFN did not achieve the required refixation (P = 0.0171). Conclusions: Fx:Flmost accurately predicts the risk of underfixation and subsequent requirement for further intervention in patients undergoing operative repair of flail chest.
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REVIEW ARTICLE
Damage Control Thoracic Surgery
James V O'Connor
July-December 2016, 1(1):8-11
DOI:10.4103/2542-6281.194052  
Damage control as a management strategy for the most severely injured and metabolically depleted patients was first utilized for penetrating abdominal trauma. The principles are early hemorrhage control, limiting enteric contamination, resuscitation in the intensive care unit and, a delayed, definitive re-operation when normal physiology is restored. Since its initial use over two decades ago, the principles of damage control have been successfully utilized in the management of vascular and orthopedic injuries, and more recently in volume resuscitation. There has been a slower adoption of damage control approach to thoracic trauma, primarily due to concerns of cardiac tamponade and impaired pulmonary physiology, both the result of packing the pleural space. This review article describes philosophy, techniques and outcomes of damage control thoracic surgery.
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