• Gunshot wounds to the abdomen are an indication for exploratory laparotomy in all cases except those involving the most superficial abdominal wall injuries. The charts of 123 patients admitted for abdominal gunshot wounds were reviewed for times of arrival on the scene by paramedics, in the emergency room, and in the operating room, as well as for number of admissions. Results of therapy were also graded and correlated with response times. The mean paramedic response time was 4 minutes 30 s. An average of 24 minutes 24 s was spent at the scene and in transport. The average delay from admission to arrival in the operating room was 1 hour 49 minutes. Patients who died spent an average of 54.4 minutes in the emergency room prior to surgical intervention. These results may represent justification for regionalization of trauma and direct transport to the operating room for abdominal gunshot wounds.
(Arch Surg 1986;121:902-904)