Negative Laparotomy in War Injuries, “Why?”

Negative Laparotomy in War Injuries, “Why?”

  • IMJ Iraqi Medical Journal
Keywords: Negative laparotomy,



Background: Basrah General Hospital was one of the major front hospitals in Basrah City during the Iran–Iraq War. A retrospective study was done on the war injured patients in of one of the war attacks in the Southern sector.

Objective: To avoid a negative laparotomy in the war injured patients.

Methods: This study was done on 30 patients with laparotomies from a total number of 253 laparotomies performed in the period from February 21st, 1986 to March 5th, 1986.

Results: Negative laparotomy was performed more, when there was an associated chest injury or when the site of injury was at the loins. The study also indicates that abdominal x-rays in the posteroanterior (PA) and lateral views were not wholly diagnostic of an intra-abdominal foreign body.

Conclusion: 1- Observation of patient with symptoms and signs of an acute abdomen associated with chest injury when the vital signs are stable for few hours is beneficial.

2- Another view (oblique or tangential) X-ray film of the abdomen is helpful in diagnosing an intra-abdominal foreign body. 3- It is wise to consider the implementation of a further investigative tool, such as ultrasonography (US) in the Emergency Unit, preferably to be performed by a sonology trained /oriented general surgeon. 

Keywords: War injury, Negative laparotomy, Iran- Iraq war.

Iraqi Medical Journal Vol. 54, No. 1, June 2008; p. 34-37.

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