Background: Abdominal injuries are increasing globally. The incidence in our environment is increasing because of crime, insurgencies and man-made disasters. Assessing the magnitude will help in proffering measures to reduce the incidence, and also improve management. Therefore, the aim was to determine the pattern of abdominal trauma, aetiology, identify commonly injured organs, as well as evaluate the management.
Methodology: A prospective cross sectional study carried out from January 2012-June 2014. Patients recruited were those that presented with abdominal injuries. Patients had initial resuscitation and basic investigations. Patients with penetrating injuries were laparotomised after optimization,while those with blunt injuries were managed conservatively. Results: There were 67 (75.3%) males and 22 (24.7%) females; aged between 18 and 69 years with mean age of 33.89. Penetrating abdominal trauma was seen in 56 (62.9%)patients while blunt injuries were present in 33 (37.1%) patients. Injuries due to knives (28.1%) were the commonest cause of penetrating injuries while road traffic accident (30.3%) was responsible largely for blunt abdominal injuries. The spleen(25, 29.8%) was the most common isolated injured organ while the small bowel and the colon (11, 40.7%) were the most injured in combined trauma. Complications recorded include incisional surgical site infection (6, 42.9%), low output enterocutaneous fistula (3, 21.4%), and burst abdomen (3, 21.4%).
Conclusion: The pattern of occurrence of abdominal trauma in this study is not too different as those reported from other climes. Missile injuries and vehicular accidents have been identified as a major cause of penetrating and blunt abdominal trauma respectively. Therefore, a holistic approach is necessary, not only to fight crime in our society, but also for campaign networks on road safety measures.
Keywords: Abdominal trauma, penetrating, injuries, cross-sectional studies