Over a 4 year period, 115 patients presented to Parkland Memorial Hospital with omental evisceration after a stab wound to the abdomen. All patients underwent exploratory celiotomy. Serious abdominal injuries were found in 86 patients (75 percent), and half of these had two or more organs injured. The injury rate in patients with omental herniation was three times that of patients with simple stab wounds. No preoperative evaluation technique was reliable in identifying patients without injury. There were no deaths and only a 7 percent incidence of minor complications in patients who underwent negative exploration. Our data suggest that omental evisceration in a patient with an abdominal stab wound portends potentially serious injury and supports the policy of expeditious celiotomy.
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