Acute Abdomen Can Be Fatal
I’m Ed Smith, a Personal Injury Lawyer in Sacramento. When someone gets in a car, there is always the chance that a devastating accident can occur. Whether the crash is a fender bender or a massive multi-car pileup, passengers can sustain serious injuries. Among the possible injuries are:
- Traumatic brain injuries, such as intracerebral hemorrhages or a herniation
- Bone fractures, such as femur fractures and pelvic fractures
- Lacerations and contusions
- Chest trauma, which can damage the heart and lungs
- Abdominal trauma
Abdominal trauma is often overlooked because injuries to the head and spinal cord often receive the most attention. However, damages to the torso can be just as devastating. According to a research paper published in the North American Journal of Medical Sciences:
- Blunt abdominal trauma was the cause in 60 percent of individuals.
- The most common cause of abdominal trauma was an auto accident.
- Stab wounds were the most common cause of penetrating trauma.
- The spleen was the most common organ injured.
- The high death rate among individuals was due to abdominal injuries.
Acute Abdomen: An Overview
An acute abdomen is a medical term used to describe a surgical emergency. When people injure their internal organs, such as the stomach and small bowel, the digestive juices inside of these organs are going to fill the inside of the abdomen. These digestive juices include enzymes that people rely on to digest their food every day. They are meant to break down carbohydrates and proteins, which also make up the inside of the abdomen. Because of this, people’s internal organs will be damaged. Without quick repair, this can cause a person to go into shock and, possibly, die. This is what makes serious injuries leading to an acute abdomen a surgical emergency.
How is an Acute Abdomen Diagnosed and Treated?
Some of the symptoms that people may notice include:
- Intense, excruciating abdominal pain
- Significant bruising over the torso
- Pain that is significantly worse with movement
- The feeling of fluid filling the abdomen
- Sweating, increased heart rate, and high respiratory rate
People who have any of these symptoms need to be taken to a hospital immediately because quick treatment could be life-saving. Once they arrive at a hospital, a doctor is going to run a series of tests to look for free fluid in the abdomen, possibly coming from the spleen. This means that they are looking for signs that fluid is leaking from the internal organs. If this is identified, the person will be taken to an operating room as quickly as possible. There, a surgeon will open up the abdomen, find where the leak is coming from, and stop it as soon as possible.
The Recovery Process Following Abdominal Surgery
Individuals should expect to spend some time in a hospital following this type of surgery. They may need to take opioid or narcotic medications to control their pain. After surgery, they will have bags attached to their skin to help drain some of the fluid from their abdomen. Finally, it will be several days before someone will be able to eat and drink. The belly has suffered a severe blow and will need time to recover before it can digest food again.
Help is Necessary
An acute abdomen requires a surgical emergency and, without treatment, it is almost fatal. Even for people that survive, the recovery process can be long and complicated. Because of the nature of the injury, people may miss a significant amount of time from work or school, placing stress on not only themselves but also their family. During stressful times, meeting with a Personal Injury Attorney in Sacramento can be helpful.
Personal Injury Lawyers in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a Personal Injury Lawyer in Sacramento. If you or a loved one has sustained abdominal trauma in a car accident, please contact me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. I can share friendly, free advice.
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Image Sourcing: The photo from the top has been placed here with permission from Unsplash.