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Civilian arterial injuries.

  • P V Bole
  • R T Purdy
  • R T Munda
  • S Moallem
  • J Devanesan
  • R H Clauss
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1976
  • Medicine


During 1968-1973, 122 patients with 126 arterial injuries were treated. In 94 instances (90 patients), these injuries involved extremities. Systolic blood pressure was below 90 mm Hg upon admission in 55.6% of all patients and 37.7% of those with injuries to arteries of the extremities. The decision for operative exploration and repair of arteries of extremities was based largely on clinical grounds (shock, loss of pulse). Preoperative arteriography was needed infrequently, while operative angiography was nearly routine. Although several cases of late revascularization or traumatic thrombosis of renal artery have been reported, hypertension complicates the postoperative period, and early, aggressive approach is essential. Mortality was 10.6%, from aortic injuries. There were no deaths among patients with arterial injuries distal to inguinal ligament or thoracic outlet. The amputation rate from reconstruction failure was 1.1%, none occurring in the last 3 years of the series. The high patency rate and lack of evidence of pulmonary embolization suggest that associated venous injuries be repaired routinely. Arterial injuries represent ideal lesions (normal arterial wall with excellent run-in and run-off). Prompt treatment of shock and early, proper management of patients' mechanical disruptions will salvage many lives and most limbs.

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