Management of severe pulmonary contusion is a challenge for clinicians. The incidence of adult respiratory distress syndrome (5-20%), pneumonia (5-50%), and mortality (5-10%) associated with traumatic lung injury has changed little in the past three decades. Therapeutic options are limited to basic supportive measures such as mechanical ventilation, positive end expiratory pressure, invasive cardiopulmonary monitoring, analgesics and aggressive pulmonary hygiene. Presently, no pharmacological agents can prevent the progressive respiratory embarrassment that is associated with the natural history of the disease, but several drugs have been tested in the laboratory. The purpose of this brief review is to summarize information published since January 2000 related to the clinical management and pathophysiology of lung contusion. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol 15:65-68. © 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Daughtry Family Department of Surgery, Divisions of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA
Correspondence to Kenneth G. Proctor PhD, Professor and Director of Trauma Research, Daughtry Family Department of Surgery, University of Miami School of Medicine, Ryder Trauma Center, 1800 NW 10th Avenue, PO Box 016960 (D40), Miami, FL 33136, USA
Tel: +1 305 585 1185; voice mail: +1 305 243 4694; fax: +1 305 326 7065;