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Nonoperative management of splenic injury in closely monitored patients with reduced consciousness is safe and feasible


Teuben, Michel; Spijkerman, Roy; Blokhuis, Taco; Pfeifer, Roman; Teuber, Henrik; Pape, Hans-Christoph; Leenen, Luke (2019). Nonoperative management of splenic injury in closely monitored patients with reduced consciousness is safe and feasible. Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine, 27(1):108.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Treatment of blunt splenic injury has changed over the past decades. Nonoperative management (NOM) is the treatment of choice. Adequate patient selection is a prerequisite for successful NOM. Impaired mental status is considered as a relative contra indication for NOM. However, the impact of altered consciousness in well-equipped trauma institutes is unclear. We hypothesized that impaired mental status does not affect outcome in patients with splenic trauma.

METHODS

Our prospectively composed trauma database was used and adult patients with blunt splenic injury were included during a 14-year time period. Treatment guidelines remained unaltered over time. Patients were grouped based on the presence (Group GCS: < 14) or absence (Group GCS: 14-15) of impaired mental status. Outcome was compared.

RESULTS

A total of 161 patients were included, of whom 82 were selected for NOM. 36% of patients had a GCS-score < 14 (N = 20). The median GCS-score in patients with reduced consciousness was 9 (range 6-12). Groups were comparable except for significantly higher injury severity scores in the impaired mental status group (19 vs. 17, p = 0.007). Length of stay (28 vs. 9 days, p < 0.001) and ICU-stay (8 vs. 0 days, p = 0.005) were longer in patients with decreased GCS-scores. Failure of NOM, total splenectomy rates, complications and mortality did not differ between both study groups.

CONCLUSION

This study shows that NOM for blunt splenic trauma is a viable treatment modality in well-equipped institutions, regardless of the patients mental status. However, the presence of neurologic impairment is associated with prolonged ICU-stay and hospitalization. We recommend, in institutions with adequate monitoring facilities, to attempt nonoperative management for blunt splenic injury, in all hemodynamically stable patients without hollow organ injuries, also in the case of reduced consciousness.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Treatment of blunt splenic injury has changed over the past decades. Nonoperative management (NOM) is the treatment of choice. Adequate patient selection is a prerequisite for successful NOM. Impaired mental status is considered as a relative contra indication for NOM. However, the impact of altered consciousness in well-equipped trauma institutes is unclear. We hypothesized that impaired mental status does not affect outcome in patients with splenic trauma.

METHODS

Our prospectively composed trauma database was used and adult patients with blunt splenic injury were included during a 14-year time period. Treatment guidelines remained unaltered over time. Patients were grouped based on the presence (Group GCS: < 14) or absence (Group GCS: 14-15) of impaired mental status. Outcome was compared.

RESULTS

A total of 161 patients were included, of whom 82 were selected for NOM. 36% of patients had a GCS-score < 14 (N = 20). The median GCS-score in patients with reduced consciousness was 9 (range 6-12). Groups were comparable except for significantly higher injury severity scores in the impaired mental status group (19 vs. 17, p = 0.007). Length of stay (28 vs. 9 days, p < 0.001) and ICU-stay (8 vs. 0 days, p = 0.005) were longer in patients with decreased GCS-scores. Failure of NOM, total splenectomy rates, complications and mortality did not differ between both study groups.

CONCLUSION

This study shows that NOM for blunt splenic trauma is a viable treatment modality in well-equipped institutions, regardless of the patients mental status. However, the presence of neurologic impairment is associated with prolonged ICU-stay and hospitalization. We recommend, in institutions with adequate monitoring facilities, to attempt nonoperative management for blunt splenic injury, in all hemodynamically stable patients without hollow organ injuries, also in the case of reduced consciousness.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Department of Trauma Surgery
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Emergency Medicine
Health Sciences > Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
Language:English
Date:5 December 2019
Deposited On:09 Jan 2020 09:57
Last Modified:11 May 2020 19:18
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1757-7241
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s13049-019-0668-5
PubMed ID:31805978

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