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Pan African Medical Journal

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Omental patch to control hepatic exsanguination

S Apanga, KV Iserson, D Punguyire

Abstract


Acute spontaneous intra-abdominal hemorrhage can be life-threatening and is particularly challenging in resource-poor settings. A 35-year-old woman presented in acutely hypotensive with a distended, rigid abdomen. A paracentesis produced >10 mL of non-clotting blood and she was taken to the operating room where significant bleeding from a liver cancer nodule was identified. With no other option, the generalists doing the surgery used a novel technique - the omental patch - to stem the hemorrhage. The patient recovered from the surgery. The urgency of performing surgery for  spontaneous intraperitoneal hemorrhage increases with the scarcity of transfusable blood and general medical officers’ lack surgical experience. In this case, they rapidly improvised, innovatively adapting the omental patch procedure, normally used to close duodenal ulcers, to save a life. They had neither performed nor seen this procedure previously. An omental patch to stop massive localized intra-abdominal hemorrhage may be an important tool for all surgeons.

Key words: Omental patch, Intraperitoneal hemorrhage, Hepatic cancer




AJOL African Journals Online