What Is Abdominal Trauma?

Abdominal pain may be caused by trauma to the abdomen.
Severe abdominal trauma may damage internal organs.
Being stabbed with a knife can lead to abdominal trauma.
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  • Written By: Nat Robinson
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2014
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Abdominal trauma is any event which causes serious injury to the abdomen. The trauma may be so significant that multiple abdominal organs may be damaged. Most abdominal traumas are categorized as being either a penetrating or blunt injury. In any event, this is a very serious situation and the person who has suffered the trauma should get medical attention as soon as possible. There are many ways a person may suffer an abdominal injury, with some of the most common ways being an accident or an assault.

An automobile accident can result in abdominal trauma. This is generally one of the most common causes of blunt abdominal injury. It may be considered a blunt force trauma if the injury is caused by excessive force to the abdomen, rather than the abdomen being penetrated. Often, during a car accident, a person may be forcibly pushed into parts of the car, such as the steering wheel. If a person slams into a steering wheel, the impact of the collision can cause a lot of internal damage and may result in abdominal hemorrhage.


Sometimes, a fall from a very high distance can result in abdominal trauma. This could be anything from falling off of a building, a ladder or simply falling onto an object laying on the ground. Even if the skin is not penetrated, there can still be a significant abdominal injury. Most of the time, this type of injury will result in a great deal of abdominal pain. Although, any type of blunt trauma can cause more severe symptoms such as organ bruising and internal bleeding.

A penetrating abdominal trauma can occur if the skin is punctured by an injury to the abdomen. Penetrating injuries can be more noticeable because you can generally see them with the naked eye. The skin will usually be broken by the object and in very serious cases internal organs may be exposed. An assault such as being shot with a gun in the abdomen, with the bullet penetrating the skin could case this type of injury. Additionally, being stabbed with a knife could create abdominal trauma, as various abdominal organs may be punctured by the injury.

When a person endures any type of abdominal trauma, it is always an emergency situation. Any time this type of trauma is endured a person could rapidly bleed to death. The most common organs damaged by abdominal traumas include the spleen, stomach, liver, and bowels, all of which are essential to a person's livelihood. Sometimes, people endure abdominal injuries and show no outward signs of being hurt, even if there is significant internal damage. For this reason, prompt medical treatment is urgent.


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