Patients undergoing surgery for abdominal trauma, especially from gunshot wounds or blunt force are at risk for developing infections in the abdomen after surgery show results of a recent study.
The records of 762 patients with abdominal trauma who underwent surgery and were admitted to a trauma center between November 2000 and August 2002 were evaluated. Most of the patients were male with an average age of about 28 years.
Results showed just over 10 percent of the patients developed an infection in their abdomen. Wounds caused by gunshots or blunt trauma carried a higher risk of infection than stab wounds. Also, the more severe the abdominal injury, the higher the risk of infection in the abdomen was observed.
Infection is responsible for most deaths in trauma patients who survive longer than 48 hours after trauma. Intra-abdominal infection [organ/surgical site infection] in patients with abdominal trauma constitutes one of the most frequent infectious problems and poses a major challenge to trauma surgeons. Thus researchers say the death rate from these types of infections, which occur in 2 percent to 9 percent of cases, can be more than 50 percent if the diagnosis is delayed after multiple organ failure develops.