Chest trauma causes or contributes to 75% of all trauma-related deaths. At Penn Medicine, this dramatic statistic led to the development of the Penn Center for Chest Trauma, which includes a multidisciplinary team of experts and the use of cutting-edge technology to provide the best possible outcomes for this patient population. 

chest xray chest trauma

Contact Us

Penn Chest Trauma is available 24 hours a day, every day.

Hotline: 877-937-7366, Option 5

Physicians Transferring a Patient

Call 877-937-7366 to contact our trauma team. You will be connected with the Trauma Attending Physician to discuss the case. Once the patient is accepted, we will work with you to arrange expedited transport to the Trauma Center.  

The Penn Center for Chest Trauma brings together experts from Trauma, Orthopaedic Trauma, Thoracic Surgery, Cardiovascular Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Neurosurgery, and Pain Medicine to treat the following complex injuries and conditions 24 hours a day, every day:

Conditions We Treat:aorta chest trau

  • Complex Rib & Sternal Fractures
  • Flail Chest
  • Retained Hemothorax /Empyema
  • Pulmonary Parenchymal Injury
  • Tracheal / Bronchial Injuries
  • Esophageal Injuries
  • ARDS
  • Severe Lung Failure after Trauma
  • Thoracic Spine Injuries
  • Thoracic Aortic Injury
  • Cardiac Injury / Failure
  • Scapula & Clavicle Fractures
  • Acute & Chronic Pain  

The Penn Center for Chest Trauma also works closely with Surgical and Anesthesia Critical Care and Penn Trauma and Rescue Services. The Critical Care Services are staffed by board-certified intensivists in both the Trauma SICU and Cardiovascular ICU.

Penn Critical Care Intensivists have the expertise to manage all complex injuries and disease processes, and offer around the-clock, comprehensive critical care coverage.

Faculty from the Penn Center for Chest Trauma in conjunction with the Penn Transfer Center and the PennSTAR flight/ground transport program are available to aid in the transfer of critically ill and injured patients.

The Penn Center for Chest Trauma is located at Penn Medicine’s Level 1 Trauma Center, based at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, is a Regional Resource Trauma Center that has been serving the Philadelphia region for over 3 decades. The Trauma Center receives over 600 transfer patients annually, many from other level 1 and 2 trauma centers.

Penn Lung Rescue

Penn Lung Rescue offers clinical support and advanced therapies for patients with severe but potentially reversible respiratory failure. The Penn Center for Chest Trauma offers emergency consult services and, if necessary, transport to Penn Medicine for advanced therapies including ECMO support as a bridge to recovery from traumatic lung injuries.

Thoracic Aortic Surgery

Injury to the thoracic aorta can carry a high chance of mortality. Priority management of hemodynamics, hemorrhage control and rapid identification and treatment can improve outcomes. Penn Medicine’s experienced team of cardiovascular surgeons can prevent impending rupture and repair aortic injuries through lifesaving techniques such as endovascular repair or open operative repair. This team of physicians leads the region in elective, emergent and traumatic thoracic aortic repairs.

Acute Rib Fixation

Operative management of patients with flail chest is quickly becoming the standard of care. The proven benefits include decreased length of stay, lower complication rates and a faster return to work. A multi-institutional, randomized controlled study to evaluate the role for operative fixation in non-flail chest patients is ongoing. In our experience, early plate and screw fixation of multiple rib fractures improves patient outcomes and injured patients should be aggressively screened and considered for transfer for potential fixation.

Meet Our Team



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