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Minerva Anestesiol. 2014 Nov;80(11):1205-16. Epub 2014 Jan 29.

A proposed algorithm for multimodal liver trauma management from a surgical trauma audit in a western European trauma center.

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  • 1Trauma Surgery Unit, Department of Emergency, Department of Surgery, Maggiore Hospital, Bologna Local Health District, Bologna, Italy -


Management of liver trauma is challenging and may vary widely given the heterogeneity of liver injuries' anatomical configuration, the hemodynamic status, the settings and resources available. Perhaps the use of non-operative management (NOM) may have potential drawbacks and the role of damage control surgery (DCS) and angioembolization represents a major evolving concept.1 Most severe liver trauma in polytrauma patients accounts for a significant morbidity and mortality. Major liver trauma with extensive parenchymal injury and uncontrollable bleeding is therefore a challenge for the trauma team. However a safe and effective surgical hemostasis and a carefully planned multidisciplinary approach can improve the outcome of severe liver trauma. The technique of perihepatic packing, according to DCS approach, is often required to achieve fast, early and effective control of hemorrhage in the highest grades of liver trauma and in unstable patients. A systematic and standardized technique of perihepatic packing may contribute to improve hemostatic efficacy and overall outcomes if wisely combined in a stepwise "sandwich" multimodal approach. DCS philosophy evolved alongside with damage control resuscitation (DCR) in the management of trauma patients, requiring close interaction between surgery and resuscitation. Therefore, as a result of a combined surgical and critical care clinical audit activity in our western European trauma center, a practical algorithm for multimodal sequential management of liver trauma has been developed based on a historical cohort of 253 liver trauma patients and subsequently validated on a prospective cohort of 135 patients in the period 2010-2013.

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