Conservative Approach in Abdominal Trauma in Childhood
Nir Shoham, Yechiel Sweed
Dept. of Ophthalmology, HaEmek Medical Center, Afula and Dept. of Pediatric Surgery, Nahariya Medical Center
To determine the results of the conservative approach in the treatment of pediatric abdominal trauma, we retrospectively analyzed data from the files of 95 cases of abdominal trauma in children during a 5-year period.
51 patients (54%) had isolated abdominal injury, while 44 (46%) had multiple trauma. The most common causes of injury were road accidents and falls from heights (74%). CT scans were performed in 61 (64%) with positive results in 90%. Ultrasonography was done in 22 (23%) and was positive in 55%.
The spleen was the most vulnerable intra-abdominal organ (33 patients, 35%), as well as the organ most severely damaged. Other injured organs were: liver (30 cases), kidney (16), stomach (2), large blood vessels (2), and pancreas, duodenum and diaphragm (1 case each).
83 patients (87%) were treated conservatively, while 11 were operated on for penetrating abdominal trauma (3 cases), hemodynamic instability (3), positive DPL (3), and Scale 4 splenic injury and free intra-abdominal air on CT scan (1 case each). Early and late complications were mild.
It is concluded that CT is an efficient and reliable imaging method for diagnosis and staging of severity of injury in blunt abdominal trauma. Nonoperative management of solid organ injuries under careful observation in a pediatric trauma center is safe and appropriate. Most Scale 4 splenic injuries can be treated successfully without surgical intervention. Using this conservative approach there were no late complications.