Blunt Abdominal Trauma: A 5-year Analysis of 870 Patients Requiring Celiotomy

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This study represents the experience with blunt trauma to the abdomen of patients from a major regional trauma center. Eight hundred and seventy patients with blunt abdominal trauma are reviewed, representing 12.89% of the total admissions over a 5-year period. The motor vehicle continues to be the major cause (89.5%) of injury to these patients. Thirty per cent had positive blood alcohol. Intra-abdominal injuries in this group necessitating operative intervention were based on the use of peritoneal lavage. Negative celiotomies occurred in 10.2% of these patients. Of the injuries incurred, the spleen was involved 42%, the liver 35.6%, the serosa, diaphragm, bowel, and blood vessels were involved to a lesser extent. Only 0.4% of the patients suffered direct injury to the stomach, duodenum, and pancreas, data which should preclude routine exploration of retroperitoneal structures unless by obvious retroperitoneal injury is noted. Additional surgical intervention for associated injuries was seen in 50.54% of this patient group.

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