Stab wounds to the back/flank in hemodynamically stable patients: Evaluation using triple-contrast computed tomography

Roxie M. Albrecht, Anthony Vigil, Carol R. Schermer, Gerald B. Demarest, Victor H. Davis, Donald E. Fry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Triple-contrast computerized tomography (3CT) has been proposed as a method to detect high-risk injuries in hemodynamically stable patients with stab wounds (SWs) to the back/flank and to successfully triage patients with low-risk scans into a potentially cost-effective treatment algorithm. The purpose of this study was to retrospectively review our experience with the use of 3CT for diagnostic accuracy of SWs to the back/flank and to evaluate potential decreased length of stay (LOS) in the hospital for patients with low-risk scans and no associated injuries. Seventy-nine hemodynamically stable patients met criteria for inclusion in this review. Fifty-eight 3CTs were performed for initial evaluation, 44 low risk and 14 high risk, and 21 patients underwent mandatory laparotomy. The accuracy of 3CT was found to be 97.9 per cent. The LOS was significantly less in patients who had no associated injuries and a low-risk 3CT (16.5 hours), as compared with all other treatment groups. Hemodynamically stable patients with SWs to the back/flank may be safely triaged using 3CT. Patients with low-risk scans and no associated injuries may be discharged immediately, and those with potential delayed associated injuries should be observed for 6 to 24 hours. This strategy significantly decreases LOS in patients with low incidence of significant injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)683-688
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Volume65
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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