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J Trauma. 1990 Mar;30(3):247-51; discussion 251-3.

Management of the injured colon: evolving practice at an urban trauma center.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Wayne State University, Detroit Receiving Hospital, MI.


The records of 239 patients surviving more than 24 hours with full-thickness intraperitoneal colonic injuries over a 7-year period were reviewed. During the first 3 years, 29% (31/106) of the patients were managed by primary repair without colostomy. In the next 4 years, almost twice as many patients, 56% (75/133), with similar colonic trauma were treated without fecal diversion (p less than 0.05). Although there was no difference in the mean Trauma Score in the patients with primary repair in the two time periods, the Injury Severity Score (mean +/- sd) in the patients without colostomy in the later periods was significantly higher (17.8 +/- 2.1 vs. 20.2 +/- 5.1) (p less than 0.001). No patient suffered because of the increased incidence of primary repairs. These patients had five abdominal abscesses and only one leak, whereas the patients with colostomy had 15 intraperitoneal abscesses. Because of the safety when primary repair is performed, more liberal use of primary colonic repair following penetrating trauma is warranted.

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