Reducing Infection Risk After Stomach Surgery

Gunshot wounds more dangerous than stabbing injuries, study finds

MONDAY, Dec. 20, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Several factors increase the risk of intra-abdominal infections in people who have surgery for abdominal trauma caused by firearms or blunt force, says a Colombian study in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

Infection is the most frequent cause of death in trauma patients who survive more than 48 hours after they suffer their injury. Between 2 percent and 9 percent of abdominal trauma patients suffer intra-abdominal infections, which have a death rate of more than 50 percent, the study noted.

Researchers analyzed data from 762 abdominal trauma patients who had surgery. Most of them (91.2 percent) were males and their average age was 27.9 years.

"A higher risk of intra-abdominal infection was found in patients with penetrating trauma due to firearm wounds or with blunt trauma, compared with those wounded by stabbing," the study authors wrote.

They found that intra-abdominal infection developed in 81 patients (10.6 percent) and that the risk of infection was higher in patients with more severe wounds.

Contamination of the abdominal cavity, and admission to the intensive care unit were also found to be independent risk factors for infection.

More information

The U.S. Institute of General Medical Sciences has more about trauma injuries.

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, Dec. 20, 2004
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