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Operative Treatment of Hepatic Trauma in Vachira Phuket Hospital


Thanong Vatanaprasan, MD*

* Vachira Phuket Hospital, Phuket


Descriptive study of an 8-year period, 211 patients with hepatic trauma were studied retrospectively. Most of the patients were male (81.5%). Patients mainly affected were in the third decade of life (46.9%) with an age range of 2 to 65 years old (Mean 26.1 + 9.8). Fifty four percent resulted from blunt and 46.4% from penetrating injuries. The most common cause of injuries was motorcycle accidents (41.2%). The injuries were graded by the hepatic injury scale (grades I to VI). There were 22 (10.4%), 62 (29.4%), 70 (33.2%), 27 (12.8%), 28 (13.3%) and 2 (0.9%) patients with grade I, II, III, IV, V and VI hepatic injuries, respectively. Forty seven percent of patients were in shock when they first arrived at the emergency room. One hundred and sixty five patients (78.2%) had 375 associated injuries. Seventy three percent of patients had low grade hepatic injuries (grades I to III), the remainder (27%) had high grade hepatic injuries (grades IV to VI). Operative treatment of hepatic injuries varied according to degree of injury. Low grade hepatic injuries amenable to relatively simple operative treatment. Nineteen deaths (12.3%) occurring in this group were attributed to the commonly encountered associated injuries inside and outside the abdomen, which were more frequently seen after blunt trauma (89.5%). High-grade hepatic injuries required major techniques. Thirty four of these patients died (59.6%), death was related to the injury itself (91.2%), which were more frequently seen after blunt trauma (85%). During operation, suture ligature of the bleeding point, or hepatorrhaphy stopped the bleeding in most circumstances. Perihepatic packing was a useful procedure when termination of the operation was considered necessary in order to prevent the development of hypothermia, acidosis and coagulopathy. Perihepatic packing was used for treatment of 73% of high grade hepatic injuries and yielded 65.5% survival rate. The results were 59 patients had complication (morbidity 28%) and 53 patients in the present study died (mortality 25.1%). Thirty one patients (14.7%) died of hepatic cause, whereas 22 patients (10.4%) died of non hepatic causes. Exsanguination and associated head injuries were the major cause of death (83%). Nonsurvivors had a significantly higher shock, blunt injury, associated injury and high grade hepatic injury than survivors (p < 0.005). The high mortality and morbidity can be achieved by well regulated motorcycle accident prevention measures and well prehospital care.

Keyword : Hepatic trauma, Hepatic injury grade, Operative treatment, Perihepatic packing

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