Objective: To review the contemporary bladder trauma epidemiology, diagnosis and management over a 12-year period at a level 1 trauma centre in Australia. Patients and Methods: From July 2001 through June 2013, 97 multi-trauma patients at a level 1 trauma centre in Australia were identified to have sustained bladder rupture. Data on demographics, clinical presentation, diagnosis, management and complications were extracted from the TraumaNET database, medical records and health-coding database. Results: Of the 97 patients, 98% of bladder ruptures resulted from blunt trauma mostly from road accidents. There was a male preponderance of 64%. Intra-peritoneal bladder rupture (51%) was the most common type of injury followed by extra-peritoneal bladder ruptures (42%) and combined intra- and extra-peritoneal bladder ruptures (7%). Concomitant pelvic fractures occurred in 78% of patients and concurrent intra-abdominal injuries in 68%. Initial imaging missed 28% of bladder ruptures, with computed tomography with intravenous contrast missing 65% of bladder ruptures. The majority of intra-peritoneal bladder ruptures and 56% of extra-peritoneal bladder ruptures were repaired surgically, with 83% of repairs performed in conjunction with another surgical procedure. The in-hospital mortality rate was 9%, and all deaths were due to concomitant injuries. Conclusion: Traumatic bladder rupture is associated with a 9% mortality rate due to the frequently associated significant concurrent injuries. Computed tomography cystogram or plain cystogram is the imaging modality of choice in diagnosing bladder rupture. Intra-peritoneal bladder ruptures should be repaired surgically, while extra-peritoneal bladder ruptures can be treated conservatively in selected patients. The timing of surgical repair should be coordinated with other specialties. Level of evidence: 4.
- Bladder injury