Dismal outcomes following damage control laparotomy in injured older adults, a cohort study

Andrew H Stephen, Meghal Shah, Jacob T Sim, Ayorinde Soipe, Stephanie N Lueckel, Tareq Kheirbek, Daithi S Heffernan, Sean F Monaghan, Charles A Adams
American Journal of Surgery 2019, 218 (1): 82-86

BACKGROUND: The population of older adults is rapidly growing and more older patients are presenting with abdominal trauma. Outcomes have not been well defined for patients that require a damage control approach(DCL).

METHODS: This was a retrospective study at a level one trauma center of patients age 65 years and older with abdominal trauma that required DCL. Outcomes reviewed included mortality, length of stay, discharge disposition. Presenting vital signs and laboratories were reviewed to identify predictors of mortality.

RESULTS: 31 older patients(mean age 75.2 years) underwent DCL. Twenty-four of 31(77.4%) older patients died. Seven of 7 older DCL survivors were discharged to a rehabilitation center or nursing home. In comparisons of older DCL nonsurvivors and survivors there were not differences in presenting HR(90 versus 96; p = 0.56) or SBP in the emergency room(107 versus 116; p = 0.51). No differences in initial lactate or change in lactate concentration were found between nonsurvivors and survivors. Fifteen of 24 nonsurvivors died from multisystem organ failure.

CONCLUSIONS/IMPLICATIONS: The mortality rate of older patients that require damage control approach for is extremely high. Presenting vital signs and laboratory markers may not be useful in older patients to predict mortality.

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