Laceration of the lung was found in 4·4% of cases of chest injury caused by blunt trauma admitted to two thoracic centres. Criteria for accurate diagnosis are presented. It is suggested that thoracotomy should be considered and carried out as soon as possible when the diagnosis is made. It was found that cases treated with early thoracotomy did not require any pulmonary resection. In others, lack of prompt diagnosis and a conservative approach led eventually to loss of lung parenchyma.
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