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Emergency Thoracotomy – The Indications, Contraindications and Evidence
  1. Dr BS Morgan, Core Trainee in Emergency Medicine1 and
  2. JP Garner, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon2
  1. 1Northern General Hospital, Herries Road, Sheffield
  2. 2The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, Moorgate Road, Rotherham
  1. Broad View, Grove Park, Pontnewydd, Torfaen NP44 1RN dr.beth.sian.morgan{at}googlemail.com

Abstract

Emergency thoracotomy is a dramatic and controversial intervention which may be life saving after major torso trauma. Success rates are variable and differ widely according to mechanism of injury. This article outlines the current indications and contraindications to emergency thoracotomy and examines the evidence to support it accumulated over 40 years.

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