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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 278-281

Splenic injuries in blunt trauma of the abdomen presenting to the emergency department of a large tertiary care hospital in South India

Department of Emergency Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Kundavaram Paul Prabhakar Abhilash
Department of Emergency Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632 004, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cmi.cmi_21_17

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Background: Trauma is an increasing cause of morbidity and mortality in India. Blunt injury to the abdomen frequently results in life-threatening splenic injuries. Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective observational study of all patients more than 18 years old presenting to our emergency department with blunt abdominal trauma resulting in a splenic injury between 2006 and 2011. Details of the incident, injuries, and outcome were noted. Results: During the study of 2006–2011, 51 patients with splenic injury following blunt trauma to the abdomen were enrolled. There was a significant male predominance (94.1%). Road traffic accident (RTA) was the predominant mode of injury (66.7%) followed by fall from height (25.5%). On examination, the majority of the patients (82.4%) had abdominal tenderness while abdominal distension and guarding were seen in 60.8% and 31.4% of patients, respectively. A third (35.3%) of the patients was hypotensive at presentation. All the patients were started on crystalloids while blood products were transfused in 70.6% of the patients. Splenic injury was diagnosed during the primary survey in 92% of the patients. Emergency department (ED) physicians diagnosed free fluid and solid organ injuries on focused abdominal sonography in trauma (FAST) in 80.4% and 47.1% of patients, respectively. Computed tomography scan of the abdomen was performed in 57% of the patients. More than half (58.8%) were managed conservatively. The mortality rate was 10%. Conclusions: RTAs are the most common cause of splenic injury. ED physicians are quite reliable in diagnosing free fluid in the abdomen with FAST. Aggressive fluid resuscitation with blood products is the key to survival in both conservatively and surgically managed patients.

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