Use of Damage Control and the Open Abdomen in Combat
Despite the well-documented use of damage control laparotomy (DCL) in civilian trauma, its use has not been well described in the combat setting. Therefore, we sought to document the use of DCL and to investigate its effect on patient outcome. Prospective data were collected on 1603 combat casualties injured between April 2003 and January 2009. One hundred seventy patients (11%) underwent an exploratory laparotomy (ex lap) in theater and comprised the study cohort. DCL was defined as an abbreviated ex lap resulting in an open abdomen. Patients were stratified by age, Injury Severity Score (ISS), Glasgow Coma Score (GCS), mechanism of injury, and blood product administration. Multivariate regression analyses were used to determine risks factors for intensive care unit length of stay (ICU LOS), hospital length of stay (HLOS), and the need for DCL. Mean age of the cohort was 24 ± 5 years, ISS was 21 ± 11, and 94 per cent sustained penetrating injury. Patients with DCL comprised 50.6 per cent (n = 86) of the study cohort and had significant increases in ICU admission (P < 0.001), ICU LOS (P < 0.001), HLOS (P < 0.05), ventilator days (P < 0.001), abdominal complications (P < 0.05), but not mortality (P = 0.65) compared with patients without DCL. When compared with the non-DCL group, patients undergoing DCL required significantly more blood products (packed red blood cells, fresh-frozen plasma, platelets, and cryoprecipitate; P < 0.001). Multivariate regression analyses revealed blood transfusion and GCS as significant risk factors for DCL (P < 0.05). Patients undergoing DCL had increased complications and resource use but not mortality compared with patients not undergoing DCL. The need for combat DCL may be different compared with civilian use. Prospective studies to evaluate outcomes of DCL are warranted.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Surgery, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Department Bethesda, Maryland, USA
Publication date: 01 August 2013
More about this publication?
- The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
- Information for Authors
- Submit a Paper
- Subscribe to this Title
- Membership Information
- Annual Scientific Meeting
- Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites