UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Trauma

Title: Is obesity a protection in penetrating trauma?

Keywords: penetrating trauma, trauma, obesity, armour phenomenon (PubMed Search)

Posted: 10/12/2022 by Robert Flint, MD (Emailed: 10/23/2022) (Updated: 5/27/2024)
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This meta-analyisis looked at whether obesity was a protective factor for penetrating trauma (the armour phenomenon). The authors concluded that insteaed of being protective, obesity added to morbidity and mortality.

"Obese patients that sustained stab injuries underwent more nontherapeutic operations. Obese patients that sustained gunshot injuries had longer intensive care and total hospital length of stay. Obese patients suffered more respiratory complications and were at an increased risk of death during their admission."

Further evidence that obesity is a major health concern in both medical and trauma pateints. 


"The armor phenomenon" in obese patients with penetrating thoracoabdominal injuries: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Andy Ze Lin Chen 1, Tae Hwan Lee, Jeremy Hsu, Tony Pang  J Trauma Acute Care Surg 2022 Sep 1;93(3):e101-e109.