Wounds of the colon and rectum are one of the most serious groups of injuries confronting the combat surgeon in Vietnam. After control of hemorrhage and shock, the greatest mortality in war wounds results from sepsis. Colonic injury is associated with septic complications in a high percentage of abdominal injuries. Proper initial management of colorectal injuries will significantly reduce septic complications and, consequently, mortality.
The purpose of this present study is to review the method and results of management of a large number of colon and rectal wounds in a busy combat hospital in Vietnam.
The hospital records of all casualties with wounds of the colon and rectum treated at the 24th Evacuation Hospital in Vietnam from May 1, 1968, to April 30, 1969, were reviewed. Two hundred and twenty patients underwent surgery for colon and rectal perforation.
Two hundred and thirty primary procedures were performed for