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Traumatic bowel injuries are rare but lead to important morbidity and mortality. There is discussion about the best management strategy.A retrospective analysis of the clinical records of 102 consecutive patients after surgery for traumatic bowel injury between January 2000 and December 2009.The mean age was 40 years. The average NISS score was 18.8. Most patients (79.4%) were male and 52% suffered blunt trauma. The mean time to surgery was 21 hours but in 62.7%, surgery was undertaken in the first 6 hours. Thirty one (30.4%) patients had post-operative complications, 12 of whom were intra-abdominal. In hospital mortality was 4.9%. Mortality was directly related with time to surgery (P < 0.001), blunt trauma (P = 0.03), ASA score (P = 0.001), multiple intestinal lesions (P < 0.001), extra-abdominal injuries (P = 0.002), the Mannheim Peritonitis Index (P = 0.02) and NISS score (P = 0.001). Besides these, morbidity was also related with tachycardia (P = 0.04), hypotension (P = 0.001) and haemoglobin < 10 g/dl (P = 0.001). In multivariate analysis, only NISS (P = 0.002), time-to-surgery (P = 0.007), ASA (P = 0.015) and injured organ (P = 0.024) were significantly related to morbidity.The multivariate analysis ofprognostic factors selects a group of determinants that represent the basic determinants of patient outcome: physiologic state (ASA), global injury (NISS), peritoneal soiling (colonic lesion) and time-to-surgery which is the only related to the quality-of-care.