Damage control surgery for abdominal emergencies. BJS 2014; 101: 109-118.
Published: 25th November 2013
Authors: D. G. Weber, C. Bendinelli, Z. J. Balogh
Damage control surgery is a management sequence initiated to reduce the risk of death in severely injured patients presenting with physiological derangement. Damage control principles have emerged as an approach in non‐trauma abdominal emergencies in order to reduce mortality compared with primary definitive surgery.
Damage control surgery facilitates a strategy for life‐saving intervention for critically ill patients by abbreviated laparotomy with subsequent reoperation for delayed definitive repair after physiological resuscitation. The six‐phase strategy (including damage control resuscitation in phase 0) is similar to that for severely injured patients, although non‐trauma indications include shock from uncontrolled haemorrhage or sepsis. Minimal evidence exists to validate the benefit of damage control surgery in general surgical abdominal emergencies. The collective published experience over the past decade is limited to 16 studies including a total of 455 (range 3–99) patients, of which the majority are retrospective case series. However, the concept has widespread acceptance by emergency surgeons, and appears a logical extension from pathophysiological principles in trauma to haemorrhage and sepsis. The benefits of this strategy depend on careful patient selection. Damage control surgery has been performed for a wide range of indications, but most frequently for uncontrolled bleeding during elective surgery, haemorrhage from complicated gastroduodenal ulcer disease, generalized peritonitis, acute mesenteric ischaemia and other sources of intra‐abdominal sepsis.
Damage control surgery is employed in a wide range of abdominal emergencies and is an increasingly recognized life‐saving tactic in emergency surgery performed on physiologically deranged patients.Full text
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