Background: We aimed to investigate the affecting factors on the complication ratio in abdominal gunshot wounds.
Methods: Twenty-one patients with abdominal gunshot wounds were analyzed between February 2002 and May 2005. The effects of the interval between trauma and presentation to the hospital, the number of injured abdominal and extra-abdominal organs, penetrating abdominal trauma index (PATI), and blood transfusion were evaluated.
Results: 90.4% of all patients were transported to the hospital and underwent their first evaluation in the first two hours. The complication rate was 7.1% in patients who had <3 injured organs and 71% in the others (p<0.0001). 71.4% of the patients had isolated abdominal trauma, while 28.6% had additional extra-abdominal organ trauma. The complication rate was 7.7% in 13 patients with PATI score <25 and 62.5% in 8 patients with a PATI score ≥25 (p<0.0001). In 10 patients who underwent blood transfusion of ≥3 units, the complication rate was 50% (p<0.0001).
Conclusion: In our study, PATI score, multiple blood transfusions and the number of injured intra-abdominal organs were the most important factors affecting the rate of postoperative complications in penetrating abdominal gunshot wounds. We found that the interval between trauma and presentation to the hospital and number of injured extra-abdominal organs did not affect the complication rate.