Mistakes in the Open Abdomen
Throughout the clinical spectrum of emergency and trauma surgery, the referral, the consultation, the key moments of early preoperative care, and the surgery, remember the patient’s life is in your hands. Not only is the family hoping for the best outcome, but the clinical team is wishing the patient through their critical illness. The patient’s survival is dependent on the right call—no mistakes and excellent decision-making—everything is your responsibility! Your decision process and surgical technique combined will hopefully provide excellent care and avoid significant mistakes.
With mortality over 10% for most emergency laparotomies, a decision to leave the abdomen open indicates the patient is at a level of even higher risk. Make an error in care, and your patient’s mortality will climb.
This chapter explores the mistakes you could make and suggests ways to avoid them throughout the spectrum of care from preoperative to closure.
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