Injuries to the GU system commonly occur in patients with high-energy lower abdominal or pelvic trauma. The emergency physician should be well versed in the diagnosis and management of GU trauma, although these injuries are not usually life threatening because of the potential for loss of urinary or sexual function. In the setting of hemodynamic instability, diagnosis and treatment of GU injuries is often accomplished in the operative setting. In the stable patient, diagnostic testing is directed by the type of suspected injury and must proceed in a reverse manner, i.e., external injury then urethral injury then bladder, and finally urethral and renal damage. Treatment focuses on a team approach between the emergency physician, general, orthopedic, and urologic surgeon. The decision for operative repair is often dictated more by other associated injuries than urologic injuries, and the urologic surgeon often provides temporizing measures with definitive repair at a later time. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of injuries to the external genitals results in excellent long-term outcome, minimizing the devastating consequences of impotence, urinary incontinence, and sexual disfiguration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine