Peritoneal Lavage: Reliability of RBC Count in Patients With Stab Wounds to the Chest

E. R. Thal

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27 Scopus citations


Two hundred thirteen patients with stab wounds to the lower part of the chest and abdomen were reviewed to determine if a lavage RBC count of 100,000/cu mm was a reasonable figure to permit prompt recognition of injury and to minimize the number of negative operative procedures. There were four (1.9%) false-positive and nine (4.2%) false-negative lavages. Three patients (1.4%) had complications due to delayed operation, including one death (0.47%). Two patients (0.9%) had hollow viscus injuries; neither involved the colon. Three of the nine patients with injuries had cell counts of less than 1,000/cu mm. The negative celiotomy rate was 4.2%. It was concluded that the number of missed injuries, delayed operative procedures, and complications was sufficiently low enough to continue recommending 100,000 RBCs per cubic millimeter as a safe number to use as an indication for operation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-584
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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