Traumatic injuries continue to be a major health concern in the United States. Unintentional injuries have become the fourth leading cause of death, now exceeding stroke.1 Trauma is also the leading cause of death, morbidity, hospitalization, and disability in Americans aged 1 year to 45 years. Blunt chest injuries are a particular concern, occurring in 12 persons per 1 million per day, with approximately one-third requiring hospital admission. Blunt thoracic traumatic injuries are responsible for 20% to 25% of all blunt trauma deaths.2
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