Annals of African Medicine
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 327-338

Splenic injuries in native Africans: Presentation, limitations of management, and treatment outcomes in a civilian trauma service in Southeast Nigeria


1 Department of Surgery, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (AEFUTHA), Ebonyi State; Department of Surgery, Bishop Shanahan Specialist Hospital, Nsukka, Enugu State; Department of Surgery, Mater Misericordie Hospital, Afikpo, Ebonyi State; Department of Surgery, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Nigeria
2 Department of Surgery, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (AEFUTHA), Ebonyi State; Department of Surgery, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Aloysius Ugwu-Olisa Ogbuanya
Department of Surgery, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, PMB 102, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/aam.aam_53_21

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Background: Splenic trauma has emerged as a major global health burden, especially in developing nations with limited diagnostic and therapeutic facilities. The current trend toward nonoperative management (NOM) and adoption of splenic salvage whenever feasible calls for local evaluation of our current practice. The aim of this study was to document the epidemiology and outcomes of management of splenic injuries in our setting. Patients and Methods: This was a multicenter, prospective study of epidemiology and outcomes of patients with splenic injuries recruited over 10 years in southeast Nigeria. Results: Approximately 66% of all patients with abdominal injuries sustained splenic trauma. A total of 313 patients with splenic trauma were recruited; 226 (72.2%) were managed operatively (OM) and 87 (27.8%) conservatively (NOM). Majority (75.7%) had blunt abdominal trauma (BAT), while 24.3% sustained penetrating injuries. Sonographic grading showed that 46 (14.7%), 58 (18.5%), 79 (25.2%), 106 (33.9%), and 24 (7.7%) patients had grades I, II, III, IV, and V injuries, respectively. Isolated splenic injuries occurred in 172 (55%) patients, and the rest (141, 45%) had associated intra-abdominal injuries. Two-thirds (67.1%) were aged 16–45 years. In the OM group, 178 (78.7%) had total splenectomy, while 48 (21.3%) had splenic salvage. There was a statistically significant difference (P = 0.022) in the rate of postoperative complications between the splenectomy and splenorrhaphy groups. The overall mortality rate was 4.5%. Major predictors of morbidity and mortality were high-grade splenic injuries, total splenectomy, multiple injuries, advanced age, and comorbidities. Conclusion: Splenic injuries complicate approximately two-thirds of all abdominal injuries in our environment and majority of these injuries were due to BAT. In this study, majority had OM and splenic salvage rate was relatively low.


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