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      Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management (submit here)

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      Hollow viscus injuries: predictors of outcome and role of diagnostic delay


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          Hollow viscus injuries (HVIs) are uncommon but potentially catastrophic conditions with high mortality and morbidity rates. The aim of this study was to analyze our 16-year experience with patients undergoing surgery for blunt or penetrating bowel trauma to identify prognostic factors with particular attention to the influence of diagnostic delay on outcome.


          From our multicenter trauma registry, we selected 169 consecutive patients with an HVI, enrolled from 2000 to 2016. Preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative data were analyzed to assess determinants of mortality, morbidity, and length of stay by univariate and multivariate analysis models.


          Overall mortality and morbidity rates were 15.9% and 36.1%, respectively. The mean length of hospital stay was 23±7 days. Morbidity was independently related to an increase of white blood cells ( P=0.01), and to delay of treatment >6 hours ( P=0.033), while Injury Severity Score (ISS) ( P=0.01), presence of shock ( P=0.01), and a low diastolic arterial pressure registered at emergency room admission ( P=0.02) significantly affected postoperative mortality.


          There is evidence that patients with clinical signs of shock, low diastolic pressure at admission, and high ISS are at increased risk of postoperative mortality. Leukocytosis and delayed treatment (>6 hours) were independent predictors of postoperative morbidity. More effort should be made to increase the preoperative detection rate of HVI and reduce the delay of treatment.

          Most cited references23

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          Selective nonoperative management of blunt splenic injury: an Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma practice management guideline.

          During the last century, the management of blunt force trauma to the spleen has changed from observation and expectant management in the early part of the 1900s to mainly operative intervention, to the current practice of selective operative and nonoperative management. These issues were first addressed by the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST) in the Practice Management Guidelines for Non-operative Management of Blunt Injury to the Liver and Spleen published online in 2003. Since that time, a large volume of literature on these topics has been published requiring a reevaluation of the current EAST guideline. The National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health MEDLINE database was searched using Pub Med (www.pubmed.gov). The search was designed to identify English-language citations published after 1996 (the last year included in the previous guideline) using the keywords splenic injury and blunt abdominal trauma. One hundred seventy-six articles were reviewed, of which 125 were used to create the current practice management guideline for the selective nonoperative management of blunt splenic injury. There has been a plethora of literature regarding nonoperative management of blunt splenic injuries published since the original EAST practice management guideline was written. Nonoperative management of blunt splenic injuries is now the treatment modality of choice in hemodynamically stable patients, irrespective of the grade of injury, patient age, or the presence of associated injuries. Its use is associated with a low overall morbidity and mortality when applied to an appropriate patient population. Nonoperative management of blunt splenic injuries should only be considered in an environment that provides capabilities for monitoring, serial clinical evaluations, and has an operating room available for urgent laparotomy. Patients presenting with hemodynamic instability and peritonitis still warrant emergent operative intervention. Intravenous contrast enhanced computed tomographic scan is the diagnostic modality of choice for evaluating blunt splenic injuries. Repeat imaging should be guided by a patient's clinical status. Adjunctive therapies like angiography with embolization are increasingly important adjuncts to nonoperative management of splenic injuries. Despite the explosion of literature on this topic, many questions regarding nonoperative management of blunt splenic injuries remain without conclusive answers in the literature.
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            Practice management guidelines for selective nonoperative management of penetrating abdominal trauma.

            : Although there is no debate that patients with peritonitis or hemodynamic instability should undergo urgent laparotomy after penetrating injury to the abdomen, it is also clear that certain stable patients without peritonitis may be managed without operation. The practice of deciding which patients may not need surgery after penetrating abdominal wounds has been termed selective management. This practice has been readily accepted during the past few decades with regard to abdominal stab wounds; however, controversy persists regarding gunshot wounds. Because of this, the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma Practice Management Guidelines Committee set out to develop guidelines to analyze which patients may be managed safely without laparotomy after penetrating abdominal trauma. A secondary goal of this committee was to find which diagnostic adjuncts are useful in the determination of the need for surgical exploration. : A search of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health MEDLINE database was performed using PubMed (www.pubmed.gov). : The search retrieved English language articles concerning selective management of penetrating abdominal trauma and related topics from the years 1960 to 2007. These articles were then used to construct this set of practice management guidelines. : Although the rate of nontherapeutic laparotomies after penetrating wounds to the abdomen should be minimized, this should never be at the expense of a delay in the diagnosis and treatment of injury. With this in mind, a routine laparotomy is not indicated in hemodynamically stable patients with abdominal stab wounds without signs of peritonitis or diffuse abdominal tenderness. Likewise, it is also not routinely indicated in stable patients with abdominal gunshot wounds if the wounds are tangential and there are no peritoneal signs. Abdominopelvic computed tomography should be considered in patients selected for initial nonoperative management to facilitate initial management decisions. The majority of patients with penetrating abdominal trauma managed nonoperatively may be discharged after 24 hours of observation in the presence of a reliable abdominal examination and minimal to no abdominal tenderness. Diagnostic laparoscopy may be considered as a tool to evaluate diaphragmatic lacerations and peritoneal penetration in an effort to avoid unnecessary laparotomy.
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              Relatively short diagnostic delays (<8 hours) produce morbidity and mortality in blunt small bowel injury: an analysis of time to operative intervention in 198 patients from a multicenter experience.

              Blunt small bowel injury (SBI) is uncommon, and its timely diagnosis may be difficult. The impact of operative delays on morbidity and mortality has been unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship of diagnostic delays to morbidity and mortality in blunt SBI. Patients with blunt SBI with perforation were identified from the registries of eight trauma centers (1989-1997). Patients with duodenal injuries were excluded. Data were extracted by individual chart review. Patients were classified as multi-trauma (group 1) or near-isolated SBI (group 2 with Abbreviated Injury Scale score < 2 for other body areas). Time to operation and its impact on mortality and morbidity was determined for each patient. A total of 198 patients met inclusion criteria: 66.2% were male, mean age was 35.2 years (range, 1-90 years) and mean Injury Severity Score was 16.7 (range, 9-47). 100 patients had multiple injuries (group 1). There were 21 deaths (10.6%) with 9 (4.5%) attributable to delay in operation for SBI. In patients with near-isolated SBI, the incidence of mortality increased with time to operative intervention (within 8 hours: 2%; 8-16 hours: 9.1%; 16-24 hours: 16.7%; greater than 24 hours: 30.8%, p = 0.009) as did the incidence of complications. Delays as short as 8 hours 5 minutes and 11 hours 15 minutes were associated with mortality attributable to SBI. The rates of delay in diagnosis were not significantly associated with age, gender, intoxication, transfer status, or presence of associated injuries. Delays in the diagnosis of SBI are directly responsible for almost half the deaths in this series. Even relatively brief delays (as little as 8 hours) result in morbidity and mortality directly attributable to "missed" SBI. Further investigation into the prompt diagnosis of this injury is needed.

                Author and article information

                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                23 August 2017
                : 13
                : 1069-1076
                [1 ]Emergency Department, Policlinico Umberto I, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
                [2 ]Department of Surgery P Valdoni, Policlinico Umberto I, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
                [3 ]Surgical Department of Clinical Sciences, Biomedical Technologies and Translational Medicine, Sant’Andrea Hospital, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
                [4 ]Department of Surgery, S Giovanni Addolorata Hospital, Rome, Italy
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Andrea Mingoli, Emergency Department, Department of Surgery P Valdoni, Policlinico Umberto I, Sapienza University of Rome, Viale del Policlinico 155, 00161 Rome, Italy, Tel +39 06 4997 0445, Email andrea.mingoli@ 123456uniroma1.it
                © 2017 Mingoli et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                bowel injuries,hollow viscus injuries,abdominal blunt trauma,trauma,traumatic bowel perforation,bips


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