Abdominal injuries can affect any structures in the abdominal cavity. It is important to note that there are no bones that shield the abdomen and any injury can lead to significant impairment to some of the digestive organs, including the spleen, liver or the stomach.
In some cases, abdominal injuries might involve both the abdominal and pelvic contents. Once this occurs, the individual might bleed to death internally unless immediate hospital treatment is provided.
What are the indications?
- History of injury to the abdominal region
- There is a bleeding wound or other evident injury possibly with visible intestines
- Nausea or vomiting
- Intense pain and possible muscle spasms across the abdominal wall
- Bruising of the skin
- Inability to stand and holding the affected area for pain relief
- Shows indications of internal bleeding
How to deal with abdominal injuries
Place the individual so that he/she can fully rest and assess the injury. You should assist the individual to lie down in a position that provides the ideal comfort, generally on the back or on the unharmed side with both knees pulled up to alleviate the pain and spasm.
Any tight clothing should be loosened up especially at the neck and waist. Make sure that the individual is supported with pillows and blankets for comfort as needed. In addition, provide frequent reassurance.
It is vital to call for emergency assistance right away. If there is any wound, you should control the bleeding and cover any wound. If needed, secure the edges of the wound together to manage the bleeding. Oftentimes, the individual can change position slightly to facilitate the closure of the wound. In case the intestines are visible, avoid touching them. A gaping wound should be covered using sterile dressings that are soaked in warm water to avoid damage.
Do not allow the individual to drink, eat or smoke. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, the individual should be closely monitored for any changes.
Quick Note / Disclaimer
The material posted on this page on abdominal injuries is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage abdominal injuries, register for a first aid and CPR course with Kelowna First Aid.