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J Korean Soc Traumatol. 2010 Jun;23(1):21-28. Korean. Original Article.
Park JH , Kim JY , Shin JH , Yoon YH , Cho HJ , Moon SW , Choi SH , Lee SW , Hong YS .
Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Korea.

PURPOSE: In Korea, most abdominal penetrating wounds are caused by stab wounds rather than gun-shot wounds. However, not many studies have been performed on stab injuries and their epidemiologic characteristics. Disagreements of opinions of obligatory surgical exploration and conservative treatment exist, and this subject is still being debated. Therefore, the authors studied the epidemiologic characteristics of abdominal stab wound patients visiting the emergency department and reviewed the proportion of patients that received non-therapeutic surgery and conservative treatment. METHODS: This study included patients visiting the emergency department with abdominal stab wounds. A retrospective chart review was done on the abdominal stab wound patients. Sex, age, cause of injury, location of wound, initial vital signs, operation results, injured organs and CT & LWE results were reviewed. RESULTS: The median age of the 121 patients was 40.9 years, of these patients, 88 were males, of which 52 (43.0%) were drunken. Of the patients that received non-therapeutic operations, only 3 patients (15.0%) were drunken, significantly lower than the therapeutic operation group. For the location of the wound, most patients were injured in the right and left upper quadrants, 27 patients each. The most common injured organ was the small bowel; 13 patients were injured in the small bowel. With abdominal CT scans and local wound explorations together, the results exhibited a sensitivity of 97%, a specificity of 44%, a positive predictive value of 56%, and a negative predictive value of 95%. CONCLUSION: In our study, the sensitivity was 97% when CT & LWE were performed together; thus we can conclude that CT and LWE can be used together to select the treatment method. Although in our study, the surgical indications in abdominal stab wound patients is not sufficient, our results showed a higher rate of non-therapeutic surgery compared to previous studies. Therefore, more research is needed to prevent unnecessary laparotomies in hemodynamically-stable patients without symptoms.

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