Control the damage: morbidity and mortality after emergent trauma laparotomy

John A Harvin, Curtis J Wray, Joshua Steward, Ryan A Lawless, Michelle K McNutt, Joseph D Love, Laura J Moore, Charles E Wade, Bryan A Cotton, John B Holcomb
American Journal of Surgery 2016, 212 (1): 34-9

BACKGROUND: Damage control laparotomy (DCL) is performed for physiologically deranged patients. Recent studies suggest overutilization of DCL, which may be associated with potentially iatrogenic complications.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study of trauma patients over a 2-year period that underwent an emergent laparotomy and received preoperative blood products. The group was divided into definitive laparotomy and DCL.

RESULTS: A total of 237 received were included: 78 in definitive laparotomy group, 144 in the DCL group, and 15 who died in the operating room. The DCL group was more severely injured and required more transfusions. After propensity score matching, DCL was associated with an 18% increase in hospital mortality, a 13% increase in ileus, and a 7% increase in enteric suture line failure, an 11% increase in fascial dehiscence, and a 19% increase in superficial surgical site infection.

CONCLUSIONS: The potential overuse of DCL unnecessarily exposes patients to increased morbidity and mortality.

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"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.