Fecal contamination from colon injury has been thought to be the most significant factor for the development of surgical site infection (SSI) after trauma. However, there are increasing data to suggest that other factors may play a role in the development of postinjury infection in patients after colon injury. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of gastric wounding on the development of SSI and nonsurgical site infection (NSSI) in patients with colon injury.
Post hoc analysis was performed on data prospectively collected for 317 patients presenting with penetrating hollow viscus injury. One hundred sixty-two patients with colon injury were subdivided into one of three groups: patients with isolated colon wounds (C), patients with colon and stomach wounds with or without other organ injury (C+S), and patients with colon and other organ injury but no stomach injury (C-S) and assessed for the development of SSI and NSSI. Infection rates were also determined for patients who sustained isolated gastric injury (S) and gastric injury in combination with organ injuries other than colon (S-C). Penetrating Abdominal Trauma Index, operative times, and transfusion were assessed. Discrete variables were analyzed by Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel χ2 test and Fisher’s exact test. Risk factor analysis was performed by multivariate logistic regression.
C+S patients had a higher rate of SSI infection (31%) than C patients (3.6%) (p = 0.008) and C-S patients (13%) (p = 0.021). Similarly, the incidence of NSSI was also significantly greater in the C+S group (37%) compared with the C patients (7.5%) (p = 0.07) and the C-S patients (17%) (p = 0.019). There was no difference in the rate of SSI or NSSI between the C and C-S groups (p = 0.3 and p = 0.24, respectively). The rate of SSI was significantly greater in the C+S patients when compared with the S-C patients (31% vs. 10%, p = 0.008), but there was no statistical difference in the rate of NSSI in the C+S group and the S-C group (37% vs. 24%, p = 0.15).
The addition of a gastric injury to a colon injury has a synergistic effect on the rate of postoperative infection.