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.