Epidemiology of abdominal trauma: An age- and sex-adjusted incidence analysis with mortality patterns
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInjury. 2022, 53 (10), 3130-3138. 10.1016/j.injury.2022.06.020
Purpose Abdominal injuries may occur in up to one-third of all patients who suffer severe trauma, but little is known about epidemiological trends and characteristics in a Northern European setting. This study investigated injury demographics, and epidemiological trends in trauma patients admitted with abdominal injuries. Methods This was an observational cohort study of all consecutive patients admitted to Stavanger University Hospital (SUH) with a documented abdominal injury between January 2004 and December 2018. Injury demographics, age- and sex-adjusted incidence, and mortality patterns are analyzed across three time periods. Results Among 7202 admitted trauma patients, 449 (6.2%) suffered abdominal injuries. The median age was 31 years, and the age increased significantly over time (from a median of 25 years to a median of 38.5 years; p = 0.020). Patients with ASA 2 and 3 increased significantly over time. Men accounted for 70% (316/449). The injury mechanism was blunt in 91% (409/449). Transport-related accidents were the most frequent cause of injury in 57% (257/449). The median Injury Severity Score (ISS) was 21, and the median New Injury Severity Score (NISS) was 25. The annual adjusted incidence of all abdominal injuries was 7.2 per 100,000. Solid-organ injuries showed an annual adjusted incidence of 5.7 per 100,000. The most frequent organ injury was liver injury, found in 38% (169/449). Multiple abdominal injuries were recorded in 44% (197/449) and polytrauma in 51% (231/449) of the patients. Overall 30-day mortality was 12.5% (56/449) and 90-day mortality 13.6% (61/449). Conclusion The overall adjusted incidence rate of abdominal injuries remained stable. Age at presentation increased by over a decade, more often presenting with pre-existing comorbidities (ASA 2 and 3). The proportion of polytrauma patients was significantly reduced over time. Mortality rates were declining, although not statistically significant.