Nonoperative Management of Pediatric Blunt Hepatic Trauma

Leone Jr., Richard J.; Hammond, Jeffrey S.
February 2001
American Surgeon;Feb2001, Vol. 67 Issue 2, p138
Academic Journal
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of operative versus nonoperative management of blunt hepatic trauma in children including transfusion practices. We reviewed the experience at our American College of Surgeons-verified Level I trauma center with pediatric commitment over a 5-year period. Children less than or equal to 16 years of age suffering blunt liver injury as documented on admission CT scan were included in the study. Liver injuries identified on CT scan were classified according to the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma's Organ Injury Scaling system. All data are presented as mean standard error. One case of pediatric liver trauma not identified on CT was excluded (prehospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Twenty-seven patients were included [age 9.3 +/- 1.0 years (range 3-16)]. Mechanisms of injury included motor vehicle crash (14), pedestrian struck by motor vehicle (7), bicycle crash (4), fall from height (1), and pedestrian struck by falling object (1). Trauma Score was 11.5 +/- 0.3. Distribution of Liver Injury Grade was as follows: grade I, 13; grade II, 9; grade III, 3; grade IV, 2; and grade V, 0. All five patients who underwent operative management had multiple organ injuries; three had concomitant splenic injury requiring operative repair; the remaining two had small bowel injury requiring repair. Hepatorrhaphy did not correlate with severity of liver injury: grade I, n = 1; II, n = 2; III, n = 1; and IV, n = 1. Three operated patients received blood transfusions. Twenty-two patients were managed with nonoperative treatment, of these only one required blood transfusion. No patients in the study died, three were transferred to subacute rehabilitation, one was transferred to another hospital, and 23 were discharged home. Our findings indicate that a majority of children with blunt hepatic injury as documented on CT scan can be managed with nonoperative treatment, and few require blood transfusions. Patients w...


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