Pattern of Abdominal Stab Injury in a Tertiary Hospital in Nigeria


  • NJ Nwashilli
  • GO Egigba



Injury-to-arrival time, Laparotomy, Non-operative Treatment Outcome, Operative Treatment Outcome, Stab Injury, Surgery-to-Intervention time


Background: Abdominal stab injury is a type of penetrating abdominal injury. The management may be operative or non-operative.

Objectives: To determine the pattern, treatment options and outcome in abdominal stab injuries.

Methods: This was a retrospective study carried out over 4 years between January 2014 and December 2017, at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria. Patients aged 18 years and above formed the study population. The case files of the patients were retrieved from the medical record. The information obtained included age, gender, injury to arrival time (IAT), type of weapon, the abdominal injury sustained, clinical symptoms and signs, surgical intervention time (SIT), type of surgery carried out, operative findings and complications.

Results: Overall, there were 34 patients made up of 30 (88.2%) males and 4 (11.8%) females with a male to female ratio of 7.5:1. The mean age of the patients was 30±8.9 years with the age range of 17-50 years. The mean injury to arrival time (IAT) was 2.0±1.6 hours; surgery intervention time (SIT) was 5.9±5.6 hours. Twenty (58.8%) patients had laparotomy while 14 (41.2%) were successfully managed non-operatively. Post-operative complications included surgical site infection (SSI), entrance wound infection, intra-peritoneal abscess and intestinal obstruction. There was no mortality.

Conclusion: Abdominal stab injury was predominant among males and can be managed by the operative method or non-operative method in the absence of significant visceral injury. Selective non-operative management was effective in avoiding unnecessary laparotomy in more than one-third of the cases.


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Original Research