Acute Abdominal Emergencies

…You begin to review in your mind all the possibilities, beginning by asking, “What do we know?” We know that she is a 20-year-old female, in excellent health, who is now complaining of nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain for the past 6 hours, all of which seem to be getting worse. There are so many options: she could be dehydrated, have food poisoning, have viral gastroenteritis, be pregnant, be constipated, or maybe even have an acute appendicitis….


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The Facts Regarding Abdominal Trauma:


– Abdominal trauma has two primary causes: blunt trauma and penetrating trauma.

– Blunt trauma occurs from a direct blow to the abdomen, causing compression or concussion of the internal organs.

– Deceleration injuries cause a shearing or stretching of the internal supporting tissues – a tug-of-war, so to speak, between a fixed organ and the mobile support tissues.

– Blunt abdominal trauma is the leading cause of morbidity (injury) and mortality (death) in all age groups.

– The mechanism of injury (MOI) that causes blunt trauma frequently has other potentially serious injuries as well. Rarely is blunt trauma to the abdomen an isolated injury.

– The liver and the spleen are the most frequently injured organs followed by the small and large intestine.

– 8% of trauma patients have an abdominal injury.

– 9% of abdominal trauma patients die from the abdominal injury.



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