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Effectiveness of peritoneal lavage in blunt abdominal trauma.

Authors
  • S Parvin
  • D E Smith
  • W M Asher
  • R W Virgilio
Publication Date
Mar 01, 1975
Source
PMC
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

To analyze the effectiveness of peritoneal lavage and to define its limitations in the evaluation of patients who have sustained blunt abdominal trauma, a prospective study of 500 such patients was undertaken by the Trauma Service at the Naval Hospital, San Diego. Utilizing a qualitative colorometric method to evaluate the degree of hemoperitoneum, patients could rapidly be divided into three clinical groups: strongly positive, weakly positive, and negative. Using this method, patients with a strongly positive peritoneal lavage had a 94% incidence of significant intra-abdominal injuries. In 333 patients with a negative lavage, there was no documented incidence of significant intra-abdominal injuries. Visceral angiography and abdominal echography were utilized in this group of patients to identify those with significant intra-abdominal injuries. By utilizing this approach, there were only eight unnecessary celiotomies in the total group of 500 patients. It is concluded, therefore, that peritoneal lavage is a safe, rapid, and effective means of evaluating patients who have sustained blunt abdominal trauma.

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