Head injury commonly presents in association with torso or limb injuries, especially in blunt trauma mechanisms. Stopping life-threatening thoraco-abdominal hemorrhage and preventing secondary brain injury are time critical priorities. Although simultaneous operative management by multiple teams has been common practice in the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, simultaneous surgery is rare in most civilian settings. Nevertheless, situations arise whereby simultaneous craniotomy and chest or abdominal surgery is necessary to prevent mortality or reduce severe morbidity. We discuss two recent cases at our level one trauma centre, the challenges that surgeons and the operating room staff face and propose that with appropriate planning this surgical capability can be integrated into the systems of contemporary advanced trauma units.
- Simultaneous surgery
- Surgical risk