A case report of a polytrauma patient with penetrating iron rods in thorax and head

Impalement injury is an uncommon presentation, and penetrating chest injuries account for 1% to 13% of thoracic trauma hospital admissions. The vast majority of patients with penetrating thoracic trauma who survive to reach the hospital alive can be managed nonoperatively. Nevertheless, in 10% to 15% of cases, emergency operation is necessary due to the associated hemorrhagic shock and visceral injury.
Here, we report on a 39-year-old male, a construction worker, who fell down from a height of a construction site, landing ventrally on a clump of iron rods with 4 projecting heavy metallic rods penetrating into his thorax and head (scalp pierced only). Emergency surgery was taken, and the patient had an uneventful successful outcome.
After massive thoracic impalement, rapid transportation to a tertiary trauma center with the impaled objects in situ can improve the outcome. Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) is recommended to remove the foreign body under direct vision and to reduce the incidence of missed, potentially fatal vascular or visceral injuries.