There are inherent risks with any activity in life and driving a car is no different. There are many varieties of car accidents and they vary in their severity. Even minor traffic collisions can bring about significant medical problems. One of the most serious medical complications from car accidents commonly results from improper seat belt use. There is a reason why people say to wear a seat belt correctly! One of the main reasons is the development of a ruptured stomach. This is a severe medical complication that requires emergency attention. A delay in medical care can result in death.
Traumatic Injury: Ruptured Stomach
The most common reason an individual suffers a ruptured stomach injury in a car accident is due to improper seat belt use. When people wear the lap belt and neglect the shoulder belt, this causes substantial medical complications. Many people will tuck the shoulder belt behind their shoulder because they don’t like having the belt so close to their neck. Unfortunately, if the lap belt is worn alone during a car accident the lower body is locked in place by the lap belt as the upper body moves forward abruptly. This quick separation between the upper and lower portions of the body stretches the stomach to the breaking point. The resulting injury is considered an emergency that mandates immediate medical attention.
What are the Symptoms of a Ruptured Stomach?
The symptoms of a ruptured stomach are seen with other severe abdominal trauma, but anyone with these symptoms requires prompt medical attention. Obviously, anyone with a ruptured stomach will be in severe abdominal pain. The patient will want to lay completely still because any movement causes leaking stomach acid to bathe their internal organs with an extremely acidic solution. This will cause severe pain. When anyone touches their abdomen, the patient will feel excruciating pain. In fact, the patient will likely “guard” their abdomen, or keep their abdominal muscles contracted, to prevent any contact with their ruptured stomach and the pain underneath. While these symptoms are not unique to a ruptured stomach, all causes of these abdominal symptoms warrant immediate attention. It is imperative that you waste no time seeking prompt medical attention if you have suffered blunt force trauma due to an auto accident.
How is a Ruptured Stomach Diagnosis Made?
The diagnosis of a ruptured stomach follows a rapid algorithm. The first step will be an ultrasound to look for the leaking fluid. This is a rapid scan that shouldn’t take more than a few seconds. If free fluid is found underneath, the patient will be rushed to the operating room for emergent surgery. If no fluid is seen, a CT scan is used to completely rule out a ruptured stomach. Assuming fluid is visualized, the patient receives an emergent laparotomy, or abdominal surgery, to stitch the stomach back together.
Treatment for Ruptured Stomach
The treatment of a ruptured stomach is the surgery described above, but the rehabilitation process may take much longer. The patient will not be able to take any food or drink by mouth for several days. After, the patient’s diet will be advanced slowly to ensure the stitches do not rip, causing the stomach to open again. It will take several weeks to months to fully recover after a ruptured stomach injury.
Sacramento Ruptured Stomach Injury Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal accident lawyer. If you or someone that you care about has suffered a traumatic injury as a result of a car crash, trucking accident or motorcycle crash, please call me today at (916) 921-6400 for free and friendly advice. Or, if you are calling outside of Sacramento, please feel free to call me toll free at (800) 404-5400.
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