[Damage control surgery in polytraumatized patients]
SourceNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 150, 27, (2006), pp. 1503-7
Article / Letter to editor
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Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
SubjectN4i 1: Pathogenesis and modulation of inflammation; UMCN 4.3: Tissue engineering and reconstructive surgery
Care for the polytraumatized patient in the pre-hospital phase has improved rapidly in recent years. This has resulted in more patients being alive on arrival at the hospital. The treatment of polytraumatized patients requires a different approach to that of regular trauma patients because they are threatened not only by the injuries themselves but also by the metabolic disruptions that follow. Therefore, the concept of damage control surgery (DCS) has been developed with the primary aim of controlling the life-threatening situation without immediate definitive repair of the sustained injuries. DCS describes a triphasic approach for abdominal and thoracic injuries and for injuries of the pelvic and extremities. The first phase aims at surgical intervention to stop the bleeding and to prevent further contamination. The second phase consists of resuscitation on the Intensive Care Unit and the third phase aims at definitive repair of the sustained injuries. Despite the low level of evidence found in the literature, DCS seems to reduce mortality rates in polytraumatized patients. Therefore, when initiated correctly and at the right moment, it appears to be a promising technique.
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