[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives:
Management of blunt splenic injury (BSI) in battlefield casualties is controversial. Splenectomy is the traditional treatment, as setting the conditions for selective non-operative management (SNOM) is difficult in the operational environment. On mature operations, it may be feasible to adopt a more conservative approach and manage the patient according to civilian protocols. The aim of this study was to document the contemporary practice of deployed military surgeons when dealing with BSI and to compare this against a matched cohort of civilian BSI patients.
The Joint Theatre Trauma Registry held at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham, was thoroughly examined to yield patients with BSI. The study encompassed a 55-month period ending September 2009. Data abstracted included patient demographics, injury epidemiology, grade of splenic injury, treatment and outcome. These data were compared with a registry database from a UK civilian major trauma centre.
Of 1516 military trauma patients, 16 (1%) had a splenic injury, of which five were excluded either because of fatalities due to overwhelming injury or penetrating trauma. The remaining 11 had a blunt component. Median (IQR) injury severity score (ISS) was 17 (15-21). Nine underwent a splenectomy with median (IQR) ISS of 17 (12-18). Of this group, organ injury grades were documented in 10 patients (four Grade V injuries, three Grade IV and three Grade II). All patients survived surgery. There were no complications in survivors as a result of splenic conservation in the military group. Data from the civilian major trauma centre database showed 160 (2%) patients sustained a splenic injury, of which 131 (82%) had a blunt mechanism, 43/160 (27%) and 9/160 (6%) patients underwent splenectomy and angio-embolisation, respectively.
Patients with BSI, an uncommon finding in combat casualties, are occasionally selected for conservative management, contrary to previous military surgical paradigms but in keeping with the civilian shift to SNOM. Guidelines to clarify the place of SNOM are required to assist surgical decision making on deployed operations.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thoracic injuries are the third most common injuries in trauma patients with cardiac injuries amongst the most lethal. Imaging is essential in diagnosis and triage of patients with pericardial injuries, and this review aims to highlight the spectrum of imaging findings of pericardial trauma. Focussed assessment with sonography for trauma (FAST) is the preferred initial examination, being rapid and accurate. Sensitivity of FAST for pericardial fluid detection is high with reported sensitivities of 97-100%. Plain chest radiography has low sensitivity for pericardial injuries but is useful in the evaluation of associated injuries. Computed tomography (CT) is the modality of choice for stable patients and can accurately diagnose traumatic pathology of the pericardium being especially useful in identification of cardiac herniation. The spectrum of CT findings includes pericardial fluid collections, focal pericardial defects and pneumopericardium.
A selection of cases of pericardial trauma encountered at a level one trauma centre is presented. Operative findings were correlated with the FAST scan, plain radiography and computed tomography imaging.
The imaging findings of pericardial trauma with various imaging modalities (ultrasound, plain radiography and computed tomography) are presented in order to aid interpretation during the acute trauma setting.
Full-text · Article · May 2012 · Insights into Imaging
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Testing and difficult decision-making is a sine qua non of surgical practice on military operations. Better pre-hospital care protocols, reduced evacuation timelines and increased scrutiny of outcome have rightfully emphasised the requirement of surgeons to "get it right, first time and every time" when treating patients. This article addresses five contentious areas concerning severe torso trauma, with relevant literature summarised by a subject matter expert, in order to produce practical guidance that will assist the newly deployed surgeon in delivering optimal clinical outcomes.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps