Enterocutaneous fistulas in the setting of trauma and critical illness

Joseph J Dubose, Jonathan B Lundy
Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery 2010, 23 (3): 182-9
One of the most devastating complications to develop in the general surgical patient is an enterocutaneous fistula (ECF). Critically ill patients suffering trauma, thermal injury, infected necrotizing pancreatitis, and other acute intraabdominal pathology are at unique risk for this complication as well. By using decompressive laparotomy for abdominal compartment syndrome and leaving the abdomen open temporarily for other acute processes, survival in some instances may be improved. However, the exposed viscera are at risk for fistulization in the presence of an open abdomen, a newly defined entity termed the enteroatmospheric fistula (EAF). The purpose of this article is to describe the epidemiology of ECF in the setting of trauma and critical illness, nutrition in injured/critically ill patients with ECF, pharmacologic adjuncts to decrease fistula effluent, wound care, surgical management of the EAF/ECF, and techniques for prevention of these dreaded complications in patients with an open abdomen.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"