Damage control surgery for abdominal trauma

Added July 25, 2013

Read the full review here

Evidence that supports the efficacy of damage control surgery (DCS) with respect to traditional laparotomy in patients with major abdominal trauma is limited and its benefit cannot be established. Patients with major trauma are usually unstable and are at risk of complications including bleeding, acidosis, hypothermia, and coagulopathy.

Trauma is one of the leading causes of death in any age group. The ‘lethal triad’ of acidosis, hypothermia, and coagulopathy has been recognized as a significant cause of death in patients with traumatic injuries. In order to prevent the lethal triad two factors are essential, early control of bleeding and prevention of further heat loss. In patients with major abdominal trauma, DCS avoids extensive procedures on unstable patients, stabilizes potentially fatal problems at initial operation, and applies staged surgery after successful initial resuscitation. This review assessed the effects of DCS compared to traditional immediate definitive surgical treatment for patients with major abdominal trauma.