Vascular Injuries: Trends in Management




Vascular injury presents a great challenge to the emergency resident because these injuries require urgent intervention to prevent loss of life or limb. Sometimes serious vascular injury presents with only subtle or occult signs or symptoms. The patient may present weeks or months after initial injury with symptoms of vascular insufficiency, embolization, pseudoaneurysm, arteriovenous fistula etc. Although the majority of vascular injuries are caused by penetrating trauma from gunshot wounds, stabbing or blast injury, the possibility of vascular injury needs to be considered in patients presenting with displaced long bone fractures, crush injury, prolonged immobilization in a fixed position by tight casts or bandages and various invasive procedures. iatrogenic vascular injuries constitute about 10% of cases in most series; however the incidence is an increasing trend because more endovascular procedures such as angioplasty and cardiac catheterization are being performed routinely. Civilian trauma is more frequently seen in young males. However, it can occur at any age due to road accidents, firearms, bomb blasts and diagnostic procedures. Most of the time, civilian trauma causes less tissue damage. There is an epidemic of vascular injuries in Kashmir valley because of problems in law and order in the past two decades. This review deals with the topic in detail.