Sunday, April 15, 2007

Urologic Trauma

Isolated urologic injuries are uncommon after an MVA, such as Governor Corzines, but GU trauma does occur. I would not be surprised if the governor even had some. Here are some urologic injuries that he could have had, or might have.

  • Kidney trauma: The kidneys are protected in their locations in the retroperitoneum, but can get injured in severe enough accidents. Renal traumas can range from minor bruises to fractured kidneys and major vascular tears. Seat belts, in general, would protect people from renal injuries.

  • Ureters: The ureters carry urine from the kidneys into the bladder. Isolated ureter injury during blunt trauma--ie from an MVA--rarely, if ever happens. Sometimes in children involved in MVA, the connection of the kidney into the ureter can be disrupted. Seat belts can help prevent this.

  • Bladder injuries: Bladder injuries are pretty common in MVA's and happen most frequently when the passenger/driver's bladder is full at the time of the accident. This causes the bladder to rupture and this can be life-threatening. Patients with pelvic fractures will often have bladder injuries, either as a result of bladder rupture or because a piece of the pelvic bone gets lodged into the bladder. Bone chips don't belong in the bladder and can cause recurrent UTI's. The lap portion of a seat belt can cause a bladder rupture.

  • Urethral injuries: The urethra can get inured--severely--during an MVA. Injuries range from bruises to partial tears to complete disruptions. Complete disruption is very bad and men who have this injury will typically require many surgeries to correct the problem and can expect long-term disability, despite the best of care. The disability can be in the form of recurrent stricture disease and sexual dysfunction/ED. Urethral injuries are most often associated with pelvic fractures. Seat belts can prevent urethral injuries.

I wish the Governor of the Great State of NJ well and a speedy recovery.

The IU.