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Concept: Physical trauma


There is dogma that higher training load causes higher injury rates. However, there is also evidence that training has a protective effect against injury. For example, team sport athletes who performed more than 18 weeks of training before sustaining their initial injuries were at reduced risk of sustaining a subsequent injury, while high chronic workloads have been shown to decrease the risk of injury. Second, across a wide range of sports, well-developed physical qualities are associated with a reduced risk of injury. Clearly, for athletes to develop the physical capacities required to provide a protective effect against injury, they must be prepared to train hard. Finally, there is also evidence that under-training may increase injury risk. Collectively, these results emphasise that reductions in workloads may not always be the best approach to protect against injury.

Concepts: Injuries, Injury, Protection, Physical trauma, Sport, Knitting, Scout Motto


Increasing evidence suggests that the basic foundations of the self lie in the brain systems that represent the body. Specific sensorimotor stimulation has been shown to alter the bodily self. However, little is known about how disconnection of the brain from the body affects the phenomenological sense of the body and the self. Spinal cord injury (SCI) patients who exhibit massively reduced somatomotor processes below the lesion in the absence of brain damage are suitable for testing the influence of body signals on two important components of the self-the sense of disembodiment and body ownership. We recruited 30 SCI patients and 16 healthy participants, and evaluated the following parameters: (i) depersonalization symptoms, using the Cambridge Depersonalization Scale (CDS), and (ii) measures of body ownership, as quantified by the rubber hand illusion (RHI) paradigm. We found higher CDS scores in SCI patients, which show increased detachment from their body and internal bodily sensations and decreasing global body ownership with higher lesion level. The RHI paradigm reveals no alterations in the illusory ownership of the hand between SCI patients and controls. Yet, there was no typical proprioceptive drift in SCI patients with intact tactile sensation on the hand, which might be related to cortical reorganization in these patients. These results suggest that disconnection of somatomotor inputs to the brain due to spinal cord lesions resulted in a disturbed sense of an embodied self. Furthermore, plasticity-related cortical changes might influence the dynamics of the bodily self.

Concepts: Nervous system, Brain, Sensory system, Sense, Cerebrospinal fluid, Neural tube, Proprioception, Physical trauma


INTRODUCTION: Blunt cardiac rupture is an exceedingly rare injury. CASE PRESENTATION: We report a case of blunt cardiac trauma in a 43-year-old Caucasian German mother with pectus excavatum who presented after a car accident in which she had been sitting in the front seat holding her two-year-old boy in her arms. The mother was awake and alert during the initial two hours after the accident but then proceeded to hemodynamically collapse. The child did not sustain any severe injuries. Intraoperatively, a combined one-cm laceration of the left atrium and right ventricle was found. CONCLUSION: Patients with pectus excavatum have an increased risk for cardiac rupture after blunt chest trauma because of compression between the sternum and spine. Therefore, patients with pectus excavatum and blunt chest trauma should be admitted to a Level I Trauma Center with a high degree of suspicion.

Concepts: Heart, Pectus excavatum, Chest, Sternum, Ventricle, Left ventricle, Physical trauma, Chest trauma


The cervical collar has been routinely used for trauma patients for more than 30 years and is a hallmark of state-of-the-art prehospital trauma care. However, the existing evidence for this practice is limited: randomized controlled trials are largely missing, and there are uncertain effects on mortality, neurological injury, and spinal stability. Even more concerning, there is a growing body of evidence and opinion against the use of collars. It has been argued that collars cause more harm than good, and that we should simply stop using them. In this critical review, we discuss the pros and cons of collar use in trauma patients, and reflect on how we can move our clinical practice forward. Conclusively, we propose a safe and effective strategy for prehospital spinal immobilization that does not include routine use of collars.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Randomized controlled trial, Effectiveness, Avicenna, Pharmaceutical industry, Clinical research, Physical trauma, Cervical collar


Pachycephalosaurids are small, herbivorous dinosaurs with domed skulls formed by massive thickening of the cranial roof. The function of the dome has been a focus of debate: the dome has variously been interpreted as the product of sexual selection, as an adaptation for species recognition, or as a weapon employed in intraspecific combat, where it was used in butting matches as in extant ungulates. This last hypothesis is supported by the recent identification of cranial pathologies in pachycephalosaurids, which appear to represent infections resulting from trauma. However, the frequency and distribution of pathologies have not been studied in a systematic fashion. Here, we show that pachycephalosaurids are characterized by a remarkably high incidence of cranial injury, where 22% of specimens have lesions on the dome. Frequency of injury shows no significant difference between different genera, but flat-headed morphs (here interpreted as juveniles or females) lack lesions. Mapping of injuries onto a digitial pachycephalosaurid skull shows that although lesions are distributed across the dome, they cluster near the apex, which is consistent with the hypothesis that the dome functioned for intraspecific butting matches.

Concepts: Biology, Skull, Injury, Distribution, Physical trauma, Adaptation, Dinosaur, Pachycephalosauria


Objectives. We compared cycling injury risks of 14 route types and other route infrastructure features. Methods. We recruited 690 city residents injured while cycling in Toronto or Vancouver, Canada. A case-crossover design compared route infrastructure at each injury site to that of a randomly selected control site from the same trip. Results. Of 14 route types, cycle tracks had the lowest risk (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 0.11; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.02, 0.54), about one ninth the risk of the reference: major streets with parked cars and no bike infrastructure. Risks on major streets were lower without parked cars (adjusted OR = 0.63; 95% CI = 0.41, 0.96) and with bike lanes (adjusted OR = 0.54; 95% CI = 0.29, 1.01). Local streets also had lower risks (adjusted OR = 0.51; 95% CI = 0.31, 0.84). Other infrastructure characteristics were associated with increased risks: streetcar or train tracks (adjusted OR = 3.0; 95% CI = 1.8, 5.1), downhill grades (adjusted OR = 2.3; 95% CI = 1.7, 3.1), and construction (adjusted OR = 1.9; 95% CI = 1.3, 2.9). Conclusions. The lower risks on quiet streets and with bike-specific infrastructure along busy streets support the route-design approach used in many northern European countries. Transportation infrastructure with lower bicycling injury risks merits public health support to reduce injuries and promote cycling.

Concepts: Injury, Cycling, Physical trauma, Automobile, Sustainable transport, Northern Europe, Bicycle, Segregated cycle facilities


The traditional prehospital management of trauma victims with potential spinal injury has become increasingly questioned as authors and clinicians have raised concerns about over-triage and harm. In order to address these concerns, the Norwegian National Competence Service for Traumatology commissioned a faculty to provide a national guideline for pre-hospital spinal stabilisation. This work is based on a systematic review of available literature and a standardised consensus process. The faculty recommends a selective approach to spinal stabilisation as well as the implementation of triaging tools based on clinical findings. A strategy of minimal handling should be observed.

Concepts: Hospital, Physical trauma, Emergency medicine, R Adams Cowley, Piper Laurie


Blunt abdominal trauma often presents a substantial diagnostic challenge. Well-informed clinical examination can identify patients who require further diagnostic evaluation for intra-abdominal injuries after blunt abdominal trauma.

Concepts: Hospital, Medical emergencies, Injuries, Abdomen, Physical trauma, Concussion, Penetrating trauma, Abdominal trauma


Early administration of tranexamic acid (TXA) has been associated with a reduction in mortality and blood product requirements in severely injured adults. It has also shown significantly reduced blood loss and transfusion requirements in major elective pediatric surgery, but no published data have examined the use of TXA in pediatric trauma.

Concepts: Carbon dioxide, Hospital, Hydrogen, Surgery, Physician, Physical trauma, Tranexamic acid, Blood transfusion


Inadequate resuscitation of major haemorrhage is an important cause of avoidable death in severely injured patients. Early recognition of blood loss, control of bleeding and restoration of circulating volume are critical to the management of trauma shock, and transfusion of blood components is a key intervention. Vital signs may be inadequate to determine the need for transfusion, and resuscitation regimens targeting vital signs may be harmful in the context of uncontrolled bleeding. This article addresses current concepts in haemostatic resuscitation. Recent guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of coagulopathy in major trauma, and the role of component and adjuvant therapies, are considered. Finally, the potential role of thromboelastography and rotational thromboelastometry are discussed.

Concepts: Blood, Hospital, Hemostasis, Bleeding, Hypovolemia, Physical trauma, Blood transfusion, Exsanguination