Plastic Surgeons Have Increasing Importance in the E.R.
Plastic surgery is gaining importance in the emergency room according to authors of a new study from Turkey. The findings aren’t surprising considering many plastic surgeons are trained in reconstruction techniques.
The researchers pointed out that “progresses in microsurgery and their adaptation to trauma surgery have contributed considerably to the increasing significance of plastic and reconstructive surgery in trauma surgery.”
The study evaluated characteristics, including age and gender, of 10,732 patients who were admitted to the outpatient clinic of Emergency Plastic Surgery in Sisli Etfal Training and Research Hospital between 2000 and 2004. Demographic data showed that male patients outnumbered females by a ratio of 4:1, and the mean age of all patients was 22.9 years.
The most common injuries for patients at the plastic surgery clinic were as follows:
- Forearm and hand injuries (64%)
- Maxillofacial injuries (28%)
- Tissue defects (8%)
Most of the upper extremity injuries were due to glassware cuts (33%) — 76% of these injuries were self-inflicted trauma due to the patient punching glass during a bout of aggression! Traffic accidents were the most frequent causes of head-and-neck injuries.
The researchers noted that a multidisciplinary approach in the E.R. was most critical for trauma patients, with a main team that is usually comprised of a trauma surgeon, neurosurgeon and orthopedist, but that “plastic surgeons have a significant role, particularly in the treatment of an important group of patients with critical injuries.”
The full study, “The practice of plastic surgery in emergency trauma surgery,” is accessible through Pubmed.