Abdominal injuries are often a result of physical, such as penetrating trauma that affects the abdomen. This may often lead to internal bleeding and the exposure of the internal organs of the body to the outside air. Therefore, abdominal injuries are considered to be very serious and are thus, an emergency situation. Emergency medical assistance should be sought as soon as possible and you are not required to administer first aid (receive first aid training here) to the casualty, unless necessary.
A blow to any abdomen which does not cause any wounds is called a blunt trauma. A blunt trauma is primarily treated the same as a puncture trauma due to the signs of internal bleeding and shock, in extreme cases.
Signs and symptoms
The signs and symptoms of penetrating and blunt trauma include:
- Cool, pale, clammy skin
- Rapid yet shallow heartbeat—may be a sign of shock
- Rapid and shallow breathing
- Abdominal rigidity
- The casualty may take a fetal position, if lying down, holding his abdomen
- The casualty may be incontinent–inability to control bowel or bladder
Once you have called 911, follow these steps:
- If you are able to administer first aid properly, control the bleeding and cover the wound with a sterile gauze and tape, for a minor wound.
- For a puncture wound, do not try to remove an embedded object and do not touch it, wait until help arrives.
- If practical, allow the casualty to lie down and elevate his legs.
- Reassure the patient that help is on its way and remain calm.
This is an injury which results in the exposure of the bodily organs to the outside air. This allows the organs to be visible and is, thus a serious emergency situation. Call 911 and seek medical assistance immediately. The casualty is less likely to feel severe pain in this sort of injury, however, if you are not trained, do not administer first aid. Many victims may also tell you that they are perfectly fine and they may even be able to walk around normally. However, you must make sure that their organs do not get in contact with foreign objects that may damage the sensitive membranes.
- Organs protrude out
- Pale, clammy, cool skin
- Rapid yet shallow heartbeat
- Rapid yet shallow breathing
- If organs have been cut, you may smell fecal odor
Until help arrives, follow these steps, only if you are properly trained to do so:
- Cover the exposed organs with sterile, non-adhesive gauze. Do NOT use adhesive bandages or tape.
- If practical, allow the casualty to lie on his back.
- Reassure the casualty and tell them that help is on its way.
- Do NOT try to touch, remove or replace the organs.