Peritoneal lavage

Detects the presence of intraperitoneal bleeding or contamination and is a valuable procedure following abdominal trauma with a sensitivity of detecting intraabdominal injuries as high as 90-100%.

Rapidly distinguishes ruptured viscus from barotrauma associated the cause of pneumoperitoneum.

To avoid injuring the urinary bladder a Foley catheter is utilized during the procedure.

Relative contraindications the procedure include previous abdominal midline surgery and abdominal wall hematoma.

Complication rate 0.9-6% and includes hematomas, infection, incisional hernia, omental laceration, vascular laceration, and bowel perforation.

Benefits include minimally invasiveness, inexpensive, can be performed at the bedside and causes relatively little discomfort.

Disadvantages include possibility of false positive findings in patients with previous abdominal surgery, and failure to find retroperitoneal explanations for etiology of clinical process.

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