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Extremity Vascular Injury Management: Good Outcomes Using Selective Referral to Vascular Surgeons

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Revascularization after extremity vascular injury has long been considered an important skill among trauma surgeons. Increasingly, some trauma surgeons defer vascular repair in response to training or practice patterns. This study was designed to document results of extremity revascularization surgery to evaluate trauma surgeon outcomes and judicious referral of more complex injuries to vascular surgeons (VAS). The trauma registry of an urban level I trauma center was used to identify all patients from 2003 to 2013 who underwent an early (<24 hours) procedure for urgent management of acute injury to extremity vessels. Patients were managed by trauma (TRA) versus VAS based on the practice pattern of the on-call trauma surgeon. Injury and outcome variables were recorded. Of 115 patients, 84 patients were revascularized by trauma and 31 vascular surgeries. There was no difference in complication rates or frequency of any type of complication associated with repairs performed by VAS or TRA. There were similar rates between the two groups for patients with multiple injuries, such as venous, bone or tendon, and nerve injury to the affected extremity. One VAS patient and two TRA patients developed compartment syndrome. In appropriately selected patients, trauma surgeons achieve good outcomes after revascularization of injured extremities.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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  • 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.
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