Intra-abdominal packing for uncontrollable haemorrhage during ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm repair

Donald Adam, RA Fitridge, S Raptis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: Intra-abdominal packing is a valuable adjunct in patients with abdominal trauma and uncontrollable bleeding but few data exist regarding early and late outcome associated with this technique in patients with ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). METHODS: Interrogation of a prospective vascular surgical database identified 23 patients (22 men; median age 69, range 59-82, years) with ruptured AAA who required intra-abdominal packing for control of coagulopathic haemorrhage after insertion of an aortic graft between January 1982 and December 2003. Co-morbidity, operative and outcome data were retrieved. RESULTS: Haemostasis was achieved and packs were removed within 48 h in 20 patients. In those patients who had a graft inserted, the peri-operative mortality rate was 12 of 23 (52%) patients (vs. 172 of 455 (38%) patients who were not packed, NS). Three (13%) patients developed early intra-abdominal sepsis, which was universally fatal: graft-enteric fistula, intra-abdominal abscess with necrotizing fasciitis of the abdominal wound, and infected retroperitoneal haematoma. Two of 11 (18%) survivors developed late graft-related infective complications: major aortic graft infection at 6 months and symptomatic infected para-anastomotic aortic false aneurysm at 39 months. Early and late intra-abdominal infective complications were significantly more common in patients who were packed than in those who were not (packed: five of 23, 22% vs. non-packed: five of 455, 1%; p <0.001). CONCLUSION: These data demonstrate that intra-abdominal packing in coagulopathic patients with ruptured AAA can achieve an acceptable survival rate. However, this technique may be associated with an increased incidence of early and late intra-abdominal infective complications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-519
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2005


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