• We analyzed the occurrence of putative risk factors for postoperative infection in 338 patients who underwent emergency laparotomy for penetrating abdominal injury. Mortality was 3%, with nine of ten deaths directly related to infectious complications. Gunshot wounds and colon injuries occurred more frequently in the patients who died than in survivors. Stepwise discriminant analysis revealed that transfusion requirement, length of operation, age, and the penetrating abdominal trauma index were the most significant risk factors for any infection. Other risk factors examined (shock, number of organs injured, mode of injury, and chest injury) did not contribute any additional information. Colon injury was more prevalent in patients with trauma-related infections than in those with nosocomial infections.
(Arch Surg 1984;119:20-27)