Early management of pediatric vascular injuries through humanitarian surgical care during U.S. military operations

Anahita Dua, Katherine C. Via, Peter Kreishman, John F. Kragh, Philip C. Spinella, Bhavin Patel, David L. Gillespie, Peter Mahoney, Charles J. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: The objective of this report is to describe our experience of pediatric vascular injuries in a U.S. military combat support hospital in Baghdad, Iraq. A retrospective study was designed using Joint Theater Trauma Registry (JTTR) records in order to evaluate the pediatric (age <18 years) population presenting with vascular trauma to a combat hospital in Baghdad, Iraq between April 2006 and August 2008. Demographic data comprised casualty, age, gender, and mechanism of injury. Physiologic data included presenting vital signs (rectal temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate), arterial pH, base deficit, hemoglobin (g/dL), and international normalized ratio. Results: Twenty-five children, median age 14 years (range, 5-17 years), median weight 48 kg (range, 15-80 kg) sustained 18 (72%) blast and 7 (28%) gunshot wounds. The mean Injury Severity Score was 25 ± 16.2. The median operative time for the vascular repairs was 189 minutes (range, 41-505 minutes). Patients were tachycardic (mean ± standard deviation, 136 ± 29 bpm), hypotensive (109/63 ± 29/19 mm Hg), and acidemic (pH 7.26 ± 0.07; BD -5.57 ± 5.1 mEq/L) on arrival to the emergency department and were physiologically improved upon admission to the intensive care unit 3 hours later. Repair techniques were ligation (14; 39%), saphenous graft (11; 31%), lateral suture (7; 19%), end anastomosis (2; 5%), patch (1; 3%), and thrombectomy (1; 3%). Twenty-four hour mean transfusion requirements included crystalloid 102 mL/kg (range, 19-253), transfused blood 47 mL/kg (range, 0-119), fresh frozen plasma 14 mL/kg (range, 0-68), and apheresis platelets (1.2 ± 3.68 units). Over a follow-up of 22 ± 5.5 days, the amputation-free survival was 80%. Conclusions: This is the largest reported wartime series to demonstrate in children that damage control resuscitation despite high injury severity permits simultaneous limb salvage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-700
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013


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