Background/Aims: A diversion of the fecal stream is generally regarded as an integral component of minimizing both the infectious morbidity and mortality associated with an open pelvic fracture. However, the efficacy of the fecal diversion in elderly has yet to be clearly elucidated. We performed a formal retrospective comparison between the elderly patients who underwent diversion and those who did not. Methodology: Forty-three consecutive patients who were over 60 years of age and suffered a pelvic fracture associated with rectal injury. The use of fecal diversion was used to delineate the comparison groups: group 1, underwent diversion; group 2, did not undergo diversion. The 2 groups were compared based on the outcome variables and patient demographics. Results: The diverted patients were more severely injured as demonstrated by a higher ISS (p<0.05). The length of hospital stay was also significantly greater for the diverted patients than for the non-diverted patients (p<0.05). The number of abdominal injuries (p<0.05) and the number of total diagnoses (p<0.05) were also significantly greater for the diverted patients than for the non-diverted patients. There was a significant difference in the distribution of intraabdominal fecal contamination (p<0.05). No significant difference was observed in the distribution of fracture stability, fracture patterns, wound location, or wound severity between the diverted and non-diverted groups. On the other hand, the X2 test for trend (Mantel-Haenszel) for fecal diversion and the Gustilo grade produced a P value of 0.04. A primary repair with end-colostomy was performed in 7 of 23 patients and a resection with an end-colostomy was performed in 16 of 23 patients in group 1. On the other hand, a primary repair was performed in 3 of 20 patients and a resection with anastomosis was performed in 17 of 20 patients in group 2. By the third postoperative month, no significant difference was seen in the survival rate: 61% in group I versus 65% in group 2 (P=0.40). By the first postoperative month, the survival rate was significantly lower in group 1 than in group 2 (P=0.04). Conclusions: Diversion should not be regarded as an absolutely safe intervention for open pelvic fracture associated with rectal injury. However, if a failure of the primary repair or resection with anastomosis once occurs, then the patient's condition could change suddenly or worsen. Elderly patients especially have a poor physiological reserve, and thus a failure to perform a primary repair or resection with anastomosis can quickly lead to patient mortality. There may be some bias when selecting fecal diversion or not based on each surgeon's subjective judgment. In our cases, diversions tended to be done in severe cases. If surgeons encounter a pelvic fracture with severe rectal injury, then aggressive fecal diversion may thus be the procedure of choice in emergency elderly cases.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 1 2002|
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