Nonoperative management of splenic and hepatic injuries in children is safe, and the majority of those with isolated injuries do not require blood transfusion. Thirty-seven children were treated for blunt splenic or hepatic trauma from November 1983 to September 1989. There was one death in a patient with a lethal head injury. No operations were performed on those with isolated splenic or hepatic injuries. Three of those with multiple injuries underwent delayed laparotomy. Two had perirenal and retroperitoneal hematomas without active bleeding, and one had a bowel obstruction secondary to an intramural jejunal hematoma. There were no late complications related to the splenic or hepatic injuries. Eight children (22%) required surgery for other injuries. Twelve children were not transfused, including the majority ( 8 11) of those with isolated splenic or hepatic injury. The hematocrit of four of these children fell to below 28% and this anemia was well-tolerated. Two children with bleeding disorders (factor VIII [antihemophilic factor] and factor XII [Hageman factor] deficiency) did not require packed red blood cells transfusion. Two clinically distinct groups of children received blood transfusions: (1) eight patients with multiple injuries were transfused during initial resuscitation when unstable or during early operation for other system trauma (mean, 62.0 mL blood/kg body weight); and (2) three hemodynamically stable patients with isolated injuries and 14 stable patients with multiple injuries were transfused empirically after initial resuscitation solely because of decreasing blood counts. They received an average of 16.5 and 21.1 mL blood/kg body weight, respectively. Transfusions should be limited or withheld in those who are hemodynamically stable after initial resuscitation. The hematocrit can decrease to 24% to 25% in these children without complications.
- Spleen, injury
- liver, trauma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health