• splenic injury;
  • splenectomy;
  • splenorrhaphy

A retrospective study of 301 adult splenic injuries presenting to the Princess Alexandra Hospital during a 15 year period, from 1970 to 1984, was conducted. Particular attention was paid to the last 5 years during which 25% of the ruptured spleens were preserved. The details of the preserved spleens are discussed. Respiratory infections were the only complications in this same selected group of patients; the complication rate being higher in the splenectomy group (15.8%) than the splenorrhaphy group (6.25%). None of the cases of splenorrhaphy required re-operation for continued haemorrhage. Twenty-five per cent of all cases of splenic injury had associated intra-abdominal injury which, of its own nature, would require laparotomy. A policy of operative management for splenic injury in adults with major trauma is therefore proposed because of the rate of associated intra-abdominal injuries. When laparotomy is performed, splenorrhaphy should be considered because of the now widely acknowledged risks of diminished immunological competence and overwhelming sepsis in asplenic individuals.