INTRODUCTION: Selective non-operative management (SNOM) for penetrating abdominal injury (PAI) is accepted in trauma centres in South Africa and the US. Owing to the low incidence of gunshot wounds (GSWs) in Western Europe, few are inclined to practise SNOM for such injuries although it is considered for stab wounds (SWs). This study evaluated the outcome of patients admitted to a Dutch level 1 trauma centre with PAI. METHODS: A retrospective study was undertaken of all PAI patients treated over 15 years. In order to prevent bias, patients admitted six months prior to and six months following implementation of a treatment algorithm were excluded. Data concerning type of injury, injury severity score and treatment were compared. RESULTS: A total of 393 patients were included in the study: 278 (71%) with SWs and 115 (29%) with GSWs. Of the 178 SW patients in the SNOM group, 111 were treated before and 59 after introduction of the protocol. The SNOM success rates were 90% and 88% respectively (p=0.794). There were 43 patients with GSWs in the SNOM cohort. Of these, 32 were treated before and 11 after implementation of the algorithm, with respective success rates of 94% and 100% (p=0.304).The protocol did not bring about any significant change in the rate of non-therapeutic laparotomies for SWs or GSWs. However, the rate of admission for observation for SWs increased from 83% to 100% (p<0.001). There was a decrease in ultrasonography for SWs (from 84% to 32%, p<0.001) as well as for GSWs (from 87% to 43%, p<0.001). X-ray was also used less for GSWs after the protocol was introduced (44% vs 11%, p=0.001). CONCLUSIONS: SNOM for PAI resulting from either SWs or GSWs can be safely practised in Western European trauma centres. Results are comparable with those in trauma centres that treat high volumes of PAI cases.

Abdomen, Penetrating, Selective non-operative management, Trauma,
Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Waes, O.V. (Ojf Van), Lieshout, E.V. (Emm Van), Silfhout, D.V. (Dj Van), Halm, J.A, Wijffels, M. (Mme), Vledder, M.V. (Mg Van), … Verhofstad, M. (Mhj). (2020). Selective non-operative management for penetrating abdominal injury in a Dutch trauma centre. Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, 102(5), 375–382. doi:10.1308/rcsann.2020.0042