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August 1971

The Management of Liver Trauma

Author Affiliations

Davis, Calif
From the Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis; and the Sacramento (Calif) Medical Center.

Arch Surg. 1971;103(2):211-215. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350080127020

A series of 150 consecutive cases of liver trauma reveals a mortality of 8.3% for penetrating trauma and 47.7% for blunt trauma. A progressive increase in mortality was noted for increasing numbers of associated organ injuries. The magnitude of the operative procedure for the repair of the liver injury was not a significant factor in determining mortality. The mortality has dropped by a factor of 3.6 from the first ten years (1955 to 1964) to the last five years (1965 to 1969) of the study. There were 29 "salvageable" losses, eight due to management and technical error and 21 due to a missed diagnosis. Since 1967 there have been no "salvageable" losses. Blood loss and brain injury were significant factors in the number of total deaths. Pulmonary problems and abscess formation comprised the majority of complications.