Open management of the posttraumatic septic abdomen

Ivatury, R.R.; Nallathambi, M.; Rohman, M.; Stahl, W.M.

American Surgeon 56(9): 548-552

1990


ISSN/ISBN: 0003-1348
PMID: 2393197
Document Number: 366751
Thirteen patients with abdominal trauma who developed abdominal sepsis resistant to conventional methods of reexploration and drainage were managed by an open method. Eleven of these patients had multiorgan failure. The extent of anatomic and physiologic injury was defined by Abdominal Trauma Index and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) scores, respectively. Ten of the 13 patients (76.9%) survived, a significantly improved survival as compared with that predicted by APACHE (50%). Complications attributable to the open technique (enteric fistula and a subphrenic abscess) occurred in two of the ten survivors. It is concluded that the open method of management of abdominal sepsis is effective and feasible. It should be considered in patients with necrotizing wound infections, multiorgan failure, and ongoing abdominal sepsis uncontrolled by conventional methods. Larger, controlled series employing such systems as the APACHE are needed for a better definition of patient selection for the open method.

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