Author(s): Lucas CE, Ledgerwood AM
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Abstract We hypothesized that the frequency, diagnosis and treatment of liver injury have changed dramatically in the past 30 years. Patients with liver injuries treated in an urban level I trauma center were analyzed for three separate time periods, namely, 1969-1970, 1981-1982, and 1997-1998. The injuries were categorized by etiology; Abbreviated Injury Score severity, and type of treatment, including observation (Ob), laparotomy without treatment of liver injury (OR No Rx), suture repair (Sut), tractotomy with intraperipheral hemostasis (Tr), dearterialization (HAL), and resection (Re) (See Table, below). There were 249 patients in 1969-1970, 70, 79 in 1981-1982, and 116 in 1997-1998. Stab wounds and gunshot wounds decreased from 235 patients in 1969-1970 to 61 patients in 1997-1998. Blunt injuries increased from 14 patients in 1969-1970 to 55 patients in 1997-1998. Major injuries (Abbreviated Injury Score 4-5) fell from 104 to 25 to 20 during the decade. Laparotomy was done in all patients in 1969-1970 and 1981-1982, whereas most blunt injuries were observed in 1997-1998; only 9 of 65 blunt injuries in 1997-1998 required hemostasis. [table in text] We conclude the following: 1) Central urban depopulation reduces experience with liver trauma, 2) abdominal CT increases the diagnosis of liver injury, and 3) observation of stable patients with blunt liver injury is now the standard.
This article was published in Am Surg
and referenced in Journal of Trauma & Treatment