Civilian vascular trauma, treatment and outcome at a level 1-trauma centre

B. K. Johannesdottir*, T. Geisner, E. T. Gubberud, T. Gudbjartsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Outcomes after vascular injuries in wartime are well documented, but studies on vascular injuries in a civilian European populations are scarce. Methods: A retrospective study on all adults admitted to a North-European level 1-trauma centre 2009–2018 with The Abbreviated Injury Scale-codes for non-iatrogenic vascular trauma (VT). Data were extracted from both national and regional trauma-registries, as well as patient charts. Patient demographics, mechanism, and location of vascular injury were registered as well as its treatment. Incidence and injury scores (ISS, NISS and TRISS) were calculated and overall survival (Kaplan–Meier) estimated. Results: Of 4042 trauma-patients, 68 (1.7%) (median age 44 years, 76% males) sustained 81 vascular injuries (69 arterial; 12 venous); 46 blunt and 22 (32%) penetrating injuries. The total incidence of vascular injuries was 1.45/100,000 inhabitants and did not change over the study-period (95% confidence interval 1.13–1.82). The injuries were located in thorax (n = 17), neck (n = 16) and abdominal region (n = 15); most of the blunt injuries followed traffic (n = 31) or falling accidents (n = 10), and with 17 of the 22 penetrating injuries due to stabbing. The median ISS and NISS-scores were 22 and 33, with 50 (74%) and 55 (81%) patients having scores > 15, respectively. Forty-three (63%) patients had open surgical repair and 8 (12%) received endovascular treatment. Twenty-one patients died within 30-days (31%), 33% and 27% after blunt and penetrating injuries, respectively. Half of the patients that died within 24 h sustained aortic injury. Conclusions: Traumatic vascular injuries are rare in civilian settings and are less than 2% of major trauma admissions. These patients are often seriously injured and their treatment can be challenging with high 30-day mortality. Trial registration: Retrospectively registered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number74
JournalScandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Open access funding provided by University of Bergen. B.K. Johannesdottir received a grant from the Helga Jonsdottir and Sigurliði Kristjansson Memorial Fund and the Scientific Fund of Landspitali University Hospital in connection to this study. The study was also supported by a grant from The University of Iceland Research Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

Other keywords

  • Blunt
  • Injury score
  • Mortality
  • Penetrating
  • Scandinavian
  • Treatment
  • Vascular trauma


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