Trauma and nontrauma damage-control laparotomy: The difference is delirium (data from the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma SLEEP-TIME multicenter trial)

Kaitlin McArthur, Cassandra Krause, Eugenia Kwon, Xian Luo-Owen, Meghan Cochran-Yu, Lourdes Swentek, Sigrid Burruss, David Turay, Chloe Krasnoff, Areg Grigorian, Jeffry Nahmias, Ahsan Butt, Adam Gutierrez, Aimee Lariccia, Michelle Kincaid, Michele N. Fiorentino, Nina Glass, Samantha Toscano, Eric Ley, Sarah R. LombardoOscar D. Guillamondegui, James M. Bardes, Connie Dela'O, Salina M. Wydo, Kyle Leneweaver, Nicholas T. Duletzke, Jade Nunez, Simon Moradian, Joseph Posluszny, Leon Naar, Haytham Kaafarani, Heidi Kemmer, Mark J. Lieser, Alexa Dorricott, Grace Chang, Zoltan Nemeth, Kaushik Mukherjee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND Damage-control laparotomy (DCL) has been used for traumatic and nontraumatic indications. We studied factors associated with delirium and outcome in this population. METHODS We reviewed DCL patients at 15 centers for 2 years, including demographics, Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI), diagnosis, operations, and outcomes. We compared 30-day mortality; renal failure requiring dialysis; number of takebacks; hospital, ventilator, and intensive care unit (ICU) days; and delirium-free and coma-free proportion of the first 30 ICU days (DF/CF-ICU-30) between trauma (T) and nontrauma (NT) patients. We performed linear regression for DF/CF-ICU-30, including age, sex, CCI, achievement of primary fascial closure (PFC), small and large bowel resection, bowel discontinuity, abdominal vascular procedures, and trauma as covariates. We performed one-way analysis of variance for DF/CF-ICU-30 against traumatic brain injury severity as measured by Abbreviated Injury Scale for the head. RESULTS Among 554 DCL patients (25.8% NT), NT patients were older (58.9 ± 15.8 vs. 39.7 ± 17.0 years, p < 0.001), more female (45.5% vs. 22.1%, p < 0.001), and had higher CCI (4.7 ± 3.3 vs. 1.1 ± 2.2, p < 0.001). The number of takebacks (1.7 ± 2.6 vs. 1.5 ± 1.2), time to first takeback (32.0 hours), duration of bowel discontinuity (47.0 hours), and time to PFC were similar (63.2 hours, achieved in 73.5%). Nontrauma and T patients had similar ventilator, ICU, and hospital days and mortality (31.0% NT, 29.8% T). Nontrauma patients had higher rates of renal failure requiring dialysis (36.6% vs. 14.1%, p < 0.001) and postoperative abdominal sepsis (40.1% vs. 17.1%, p < 0.001). Trauma and NT patients had similar number of hours of sedative (89.9 vs. 65.5 hours, p = 0.064) and opioid infusions (106.9 vs. 96.7 hours, p = 0.514), but T had lower DF/CF-ICU-30 (51.1% vs. 73.7%, p = 0.029), indicating more delirium. Linear regression analysis indicated that T was associated with a 32.1% decrease (95% CI, 14.6%-49.5%; p < 0.001) in DF/CF-ICU-30, while achieving PFC was associated with a 25.1% increase (95% CI, 10.2%-40.1%; p = 0.001) in DF/CFICU-30. Increasing Abbreviated Injury Scale for the head was associated with decreased DF/CF-ICU-30 by analysis of variance (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION Nontrauma patients had higher incidence of postoperative abdominal sepsis and need for dialysis, while T was independently associated with increased delirium, perhaps because of traumatic brain injury. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Therapeutic study, level IV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-107
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • damage-control laparotomy
  • delirium
  • nontrauma
  • sedation
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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