TITLE

Penetrating thoracoabdominal injuries in Quebec: implications for surgical training and maintenance of competence

AUTHOR(S)
Bergeron, Eric; Lavoie, Andre; Razek, Tarek; Belcaid, Amina; Lessard, Julie; Clas, David
PUB. DATE
August 2005
SOURCE
Canadian Journal of Surgery;Aug2005, Vol. 48 Issue 4, p284
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Background The frequency of penetrating trauma is low in Canada. Current recommendations for the care of patients with penetrating injuries originate from inner city trauma centres with a high volume of such injuries and may not apply to Canada. The purpose of this study was to review the incidence and treatment of penetrating thoracoabdominal injuries in the 4 tertiary trauma centres in Quebec. Methods We identified all patients with penetrating thoracic or abdominal injuries who were taken to any of the 4 tertiary trauma centres in the province of Quebec between Apr. 1, 1998, and Mar. 31, 2001. Patients who were dead on arrival were excluded. Only patients with an Abbreviated Injury Scale of 2 or greater for the thoracic or abdominal regions were included. Results In total, 245 patients meeting our inclusion criteria were identified. Of these 223 (91%) were male. The mean (and standard deviation) age was 33.8 (13.2) years; range 15-90 years. The median Injury Severity Score was 10 (range 4-75). Overall in-hospital mortality was 6.9%. There were 203 patients (82.8%) with thoracic injuries and 192 patients (78.4%) with abdominal injuries. Fifty (20.4%) of these patients had injuries to both regions. A thoracotomy was carried out in 48 (31.4%) of 153 patients who had injuries to the thorax, and the abdomen was explored in 133 (93.7%) of the 142 patients with abdominal injuries. The incidence of these injuries in the study period varied from 3 to 49 cases per centre. Conclusions The annual incidence of penetrating thoracoabdominal injuries is extremely low in all 4 of Quebec's tertiary trauma centres, and the number of thoracoabdominal procedures is even lower. Such a low exposure may jeopardize education and clinical competence. We need to rethink our educational strategies both for residents and for continuing medical education. New approaches to training and maintenance of competence must be developed.
ACCESSION #
17721287

 

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