Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 295-300

Abdominal injury patterns in patients with seatbelt signs requiring laparotomy


1 Department of General Surgery, Ziv Hospital, Tzfat, Israel
2 Department of General Surgery and Trauma Unit, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Centre, Jerusalem, Israel

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Miklosh Bala
Department of General Surgery and Trauma Unit, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Centre, Jerusalem
Israel
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-2700.142764

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Aims: We analyzed our series of patients with seatbelt signs (bruising) that underwent laparotomy in order to correlate injury pattern with clinical course and outcome. Materials and Methods: Retrospective analysis of patients with seatbelt signs presenting to the level 1 Trauma Unit between 2005 and 2010 was performed. We evaluated the nature of injuries during laparotomy associated with seatbelt signs and their treatment and complications. Results: There were 41 patients, 25 (61%) male, with a median age of 26 years. Median injury severity score (ISS) was 25 (range 6-66) and overall mortality was 10% (four patients). Patients were classified into three groups according to time from injury to surgery. Median time to surgery for the immediate group (n = 12) was 1.05 h, early group (n = 22) was 2.7 h, and delayed group (n = 7) was 19.5 h. Patients in the immediate group tended to have solid organ injuries; whereas, patients in the delayed group had bowel injury. Patients with solid organ injuries were found to be more seriously injured and had higher mortality (P < 0.01) and morbidity compared with patients with the "classic" bowel injury pattern associated with a typical seatbelt sign. Conclusion: Our data suggest that there is a cohort of patients with seatbelt injury who have solid organ injury requiring urgent intervention. Solid organ injuries associated with malpositioned seatbelts lying higher on the abdomen tend to result in hemodynamic instability necessitating immediate surgery. They have more postoperative complications and a greater mortality. Seatbelt signs should be accurately documented after any car crash.


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