ORIGINAL ARTICLE: PDF OnlyHenderson Vernon J. MD; Smith, R. Stephen MD; Fry, William R. MD; Morabito, Diane RN, MPH; Peskin, Gerald W. MD; Barkan, Howard PhD; Organ, Claude H. Jr. MDThe Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection, and Critical Care: March 1994 - p 341-348 Buy Abstract Retrospective analysis was performed on the medical records of 251 patients treated for cardiac injuries at Highland General Hospital trauma facility in Alameda County, California, to identify factors that contribute to patient survival and predict death. Thirty-six patients (14%) had blunt injuries, 153 patients (61%) had gunshot wounds (GSW) 62 patients (25%) had stab wounds. The overall survival rate was 18.7%, GSW survival was 6.5%, stab wound survival was 37.1% blunt injury survival was 40%. Patients who arrived with some vital signs had 62.2% survival and patients who arrived with absent vital signs had <1% survival. Stepwise multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that for patients with absent vital sings the only significant analysis revealed that for patients withabsent vital signs the only significant predictor of outcome was GSW as the mechanism of injury and for patients with vital signs the ISS and the presence of combined right and left heart injuries were significant independent predictors of outcome. We conclude that the routine and aggressive use of emergency room thoracotomy for patients with penetrating cardiac injury must be re-examined. © Williams & Wilkins 1994. All Rights Reserved.