[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
May 1971

Stab Wounds of the Abdomen: An Analysis of 500 Patients

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Department of Surgery, New York Medical College and Metropolitan Hospital Center, New York. Dr. McKinnon is now at Ochsner Clinic, New Orleans.

Arch Surg. 1971;102(5):465-468. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350050031010

Since 1962, all patients with stab wounds of the abdomen admitted to New York Medical College-Metropolitan Hospital Center were managed on a selective basis. This study was compared to an earlier retrospective study (1958 to 1962). In the recent series operation was mandatory if the patient demonstrated signs of peritoneal irritation, shock, blood in the stomach, rectum or urine evisceration or free peritoneal air. Others were observed vigilantly under the supervision of the trauma team and explored if such signs appeared. The exploration rate has been reduced from 56% to 28% without increase in mortality, and no deaths resulted from observation without surgery. Drug addiction was encountered in 26% of the patients. Management, preoperative evaluation, and postoperative complications, especially with drug addicts, are detailed.