Aim of the study: Damage control laparotomy is a new approach to the more severe abdominal traumas. It stems from a better understanding of the physiopathology of the haemorragic shock.
Patients and methods: A national retrospective study from 27 centers about 109 trauma patients who underwent a damage control procedure between January 1990 and December 2001, is analysed. Surgical procedures included 97 hepatic packing, 10 abdominal packing, 4 exclusive skin closure, 1 open laparotomy technique and 3 digestive stapplings.
Results: The mortality rate is 42%. Eleven abdominal compartment syndromes have occurred with 7 decompressive laparomy (4 deaths).
Conclusion: This study is based on the largest series of damage control laparotomy published in France. Results in terms of mortality and morbidity are similar to those of published studies from the USA.