Title: Blunt Force Trauma to the Abdominal Cavity
- Ever wonder what happens inside the human body when a person gets into a car crash? Well, the abdominal cavity may receive blunt force trauma due to the heavy impact it received from the vehicle.
- Blunt force trauma to the abdominal cavity may involve a “direct blow (for example, a kick), impact with an object (for example, a fall onto bicycle handlebars), or a sudden decrease in speed (for example, a fall from a height or a motor vehicle crash)” (Van).
- When the abdominal cavity receives blunt force trauma, the spleen and liver are typically the two most common organs affected by it, while hollow organs do not receive much of the impact.
- The spleen and liver are considered solid organs along with the pancreas, while hollow organs include the stomach, intestines, bladder, and gallbladder(Collopy).
- Nevertheless, if a hollow organ does get injured, abdominal contents like stomach acid may go back to the cavity and cause irritation and inflammation.
- The trauma may cut or rupture the organs in the abdomen and or blood vessels. Injuries can occur at three distinct occurrences.
- The first one is the initial injury, where the momentum of the forces causes organs to tear.
- Another would be when the organs are crushed upon objects pressed against them. Lastly, it would be the external compression that causes pressure in an organ, causing ruptures (Collopy). Cuts immediately begin bleeding and can range from minimal to massive bleeding.
- Minimalbleeding is a small amount of external bleeding from the wound.
- However, massive bleeding comes from more severe injuries and can lead to shock even death (Van). As for abdominal ruptures, blunt force injuries caused the collection of blood called hematomas to form mainly in the hollow organs due to its open spaces(Collopy).
- the human body is typically able to handle reabsorbing hematomas, taking several days or weeks.
- However, a hematoma rupture can occur and have long-term complications. Usually, it occurs within the first few days post-injury, but some may occur months later. Especially in the spleen or liver, the ruptures can cause life-threatening bleeding in the abdominal cavity.
- A rupture in the intestines can cause intestinal contents to leak and cause scarring (Van).To replace the significant amount of blood loss from blunt trauma, people tend to manage their blood loss or get surgery.
- Managing blood for minimal injuries can recover within a few weeks.
- Abdominal surgery is needed if the organs aref damaged or bleeding cannot be stopped (Van). It takes about two to three months for a person to move comfortably again and about two years until they are at full they can receive full strength again (York).
- Collopy, Kevin T. “Abdominal Trauma.”EMS WORLD, EMSWorld, 2010,https://www.emsworld.com/article/10319768/abdominal-trauma.Van,
- Philbert y.Overview of Abdominal Injuries. Merck& Co., Inc., 2019.Merck ManualConsumer
- Version,https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/injuries-and-poisoning/abdominal-injuries/overview-of-abdominal-injuries.York Teaching Hospital.
- “Physiotherapy and exercise guide for patients, relatives, and carers.”Recovering from Major Abdominal Surgery, p. 10,https://www.yorkhospitals.nhs.uk/seecmsfile/?id=1906.