Expectant management in delayed presentation of war casualties with penetrating abdominal trauma

Moaad Farraj, Zakhar Bramnick, Boris Kruchin, Uri Gedalia, Ron Dar, Hisham Hussein, Anton Kvasha, Igor Waksman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: While the management of acute civilian abdominal injuries is well established, The literature regarding the management of battle-related abdominal injuries presented in a delayed fashion is scarce. The objective of this study was to investigate the safety of non-operative management approach in delayed evacuation of battle-related abdominal injuries. Methods: Clinical records of thirty-seven hemodynamically normal patients with battle related injuries and Computed Tomography (CT) findings of penetrating abdominal trauma were retrospectively studied. Results: All 37 patients suffered penetrating abdominal injuries during the civil war in Syria. In this complex scenario, the casualties presented after a minimum 12-hour delay to our hospital. All patients had abnormal abdominal CT scans with no clinical peritoneal signs. Twenty-one [of the 37] patients exhibited 29 hard signs on CT scan. Of these, 17 patients were treated non-operatively and 4 underwent exploratory laparotomy (of which 2 were non-therapeutic). Sixteen patients exhibited a total of 75 soft signs on CT scan; 15 were treated non-operatively and one underwent non-therapeutic laparotomy. No complications were recorded in either the operative or non-operative groups. In total, 32 patients (86%) were treated non-operatively. Five patients (14%) underwent exploratory laparotomy (3 of which were non-therapeutic). Length of stay was dependent on the unique requirements of each individual patient as determined by the state department for returning across the border. Conclusion: We propose that in battle related casualties, acute survivable penetrating abdominal trauma may be safely treated non-operatively in selected patients who are hemodynamically normal and in whom there is an absence of abdominal pain or tenderness on repeated clinical assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-165
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

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© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Expecntant management
  • Penetrating abdominal trauma
  • War casualties


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