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Rib fractures are common injuries present in 10-15% of all trauma patients. At Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center, about 170 patients with rib fractures are seen per year, of which approximately 40% are age 65 and older. Rib fractures are often associated with polytrauma, where patients have additional head injury, abdominal injury, pneumothorax-hemothorax, lung injury, or thoracic spine injury. Patients with three or more rib fractures, and patients age 65 and older with any rib fracture, often require hospitalization or transfer to a regional trauma facility where dedicated resources and expertise in management of fractured ribs are available, as they are often at a greater risk for hospital admission, pneumonia, ICU admission, longer hospital stays, and hospital mortality. The primary goal of this retrospective review is to better describe this at-risk population by identifying issues with inpatient transfers, risks for negative outcomes including mortality, and discharge dispositions.
Dr. Kristin Colling is the Principal Investigator. Melissa Harry, PhD, is the Co-Investigator.