• Twenty-nine children sustained major arterial injuries secondary to gunshot wounds (nine), blunt injuries (11), penetrating injuries by sharp objects (five), and arteriographic injury (four). The femoral artery was most commonly injured, followed by the brachial, the carotid, subclavian, popliteal, aorta, innominate, and vertebral arteries. We repaired the majority of the arterial injuries by resecting the damaged vessel, with primary anastomosis or interposition grafting when necessary to avoid tension. Postoperative complications included clotted grafts in two patients, which were rendered patent by reoperation. Two children died postoperatively, although both had successful vascular repairs. All vascular repairs were patent at one year, and limb length disparity has occurred in one patient following a nerve injury. Our data indicate that early exploration and repair of all suspected vascular injuries can be accomplished with excellent results, even in young children.
(Arch Surg 1981;116:685-690)