Evaluation and management of abdominal gunshot wounds: A Western Trauma Association critical decisions algorithm

Matthew J. Martin, Carlos V.R. Brown, David V. Shatz, Hasan Alam, Karen Brasel, Carl J. Hauser, Marc de Moya, Ernest E. Moore, Gary Vercruysse, Kenji Inaba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This is a recommended evaluation and management algorithm from the Western Trauma Association (WTA) Algorithms Committee addressing the management of adult patients with abdominal gunshot wounds (GSW). Because there is a paucity of published prospective randomized clinical trials that have generated class I data, these recommendations are based primarily on published prospective and retrospective cohort studies identified via structured literature search, and expert opinion of the WTA members. In addition to published clinical series, this algorithm attempts to incorporate and remain consistent (whenever possible) with the relevant evidence-based Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma Practice Management Guidelines.1,2 The final algorithm is the result of an iterative process including an initial internal review and revision by the WTA Algorithm Committee members, and then final revisions based on input during and after presentation of the algorithm to the full WTA membership (March 2018). We believe the algorithm (Fig. 1) and accompanying comments represent a safe and well-reasoned approach to the evaluation and management of the patient with an abdominal GSW in any location (including thoracoabdominal).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1220-1227
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • Abdominal trauma
  • Algorithm
  • Gunshot wounds
  • Penetrating
  • Western Trauma Association

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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