Interrelationship of Velocity and Chest Compression in Blunt Thoracic Impact to Swine
As part of a continuing study of thoracic injury resulting from blunt frontal loading, the interrelationship of velocity and chest compression was investigated in a series of animal experiments. Anesthetized male swine were suspended in their natural posture and subjected to midsternal, ventrodorsad impact. Twelve animals were struck at a velocity of 14.5 ± 0.9 m/s and experienced a controlled thoracic compression of either 15, 19, or 24%. Six others were impacted at 9.7 ± 1.3 m/s with a greater mean compression of 27%. For the 14.5 m/s exposures the severity of trauma increased with increasing compression, ranging from minor to fatal. Injuries included skeletal fractures, pulmonary contusions, and cardiovascular ruptures leading to tamponade and hemothorax. Serious cardiac arrhythmias also occurred, including one case of lethal ventricular fibrillation. The 9.7 m/s exposures produced mainly pulmonary contusion, ranging in severity from moderate to critical.