Article

Damage control in the abdomen and beyond

Department of Surgery, Johannesburg Hospital, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
British Journal of Surgery (Impact Factor: 5.21). 09/2004; 91(9):1095-1101. DOI: 10.1002/bjs.4641
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Damage control is not a modern concept, but the application of this approach represents a new paradigm in surgery, borne out of a need to care for patients sustaining multiple high-energy injuries.
A Medline search was performed to locate English language articles relating to damage control procedures in trauma patients. The retrieved articles were manually cross-referenced, and additional academic and historical articles were identified.
Damage control surgery, sometimes known as 'damage limitation surgery' or 'abbreviated laparotomy', is best defined as creating a stable anatomical environment to prevent the patient from progressing to an unsalvageable metabolic state. Patients are more likely to die from metabolic failure than from failure to complete organ repairs. It is with this awareness that damage control surgery is performed, enabling the patient to maintain a sustainable physiological envelope.

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