The Dangers of a Penetrating Injury of the Abdomen

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December 30, 2018
Edward Smith

The Dangers of a Penetrating Injury of the Abdomen

Driving is a privilege that comes with significant responsibilities and, unfortunately, car accidents are one of the most common causes of preventable death. Although a significant amount of attention has been paid to auto collisions in recent years, they are still a significant killer of people annually. Even for those who survive, they might sustain serious traumatic injuries that could impact them for the rest of their life. Some of the statistics regarding vehicular accidents that were published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include:

  • More than 32,000 deaths result from motor vehicle collisions on an annual basis
  • For every 1 person killed in an auto accident, another 8 people suffer serious injuries that require hospitalization
  • In addition, another 100 people need to seek treatment from an emergency department
  • The death rate in motor vehicle collisions in the United States is more than twice that of other developed countries
  • About a third of all crashes in the United States involves driving while under the influence of alcohol

These statistics paint a grim picture and show that more must be done to reduce the rate of car accidents in this country. There are lots of different injuries that someone could sustain and one of these is an abdominal injury. What are a few of the dangers that a penetrating abdominal injury might present?

The Difference: Blunt versus Penetrating Abdominal Trauma

The abdomen is home to numerous important organs and tissues. For this reason, abdominal trauma can lead to substantial medical problems. There are two broad categories of abdominal injuries. These are:

  • Blunt Trauma: This is a direct blow to the stomach that does not break the surface of the skin. Examples include an injury from the seatbelt or striking the abdomen on the steering column.
  • Penetrating Trauma: This type of abdominal trauma does break the surface of the skin and leads to immediate bleeding. Examples include a stab wound from a glass shard or metal shrapnel.

A penetrating abdominal injury can damage the organs and tissues that are underneath the skin. What are a few of the examples?

Types of Injuries Resulting from a Penetrating Trauma

When someone is involved in a car accident, a significant amount of shrapnel could fly through the interior. Examples include:

  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Plastic

Any of these could penetrate the abdomen, leading to serious injuries. Some of the abdominal injuries that someone could suffer include:

  • Damage to the solid organs, such as the liver or spleen
  • A rupture of the pancreas
  • Damage to blood vessels that run through the abdomen, such as the aorta or vena cava
  • A penetrating wound of the small intestine
  • Injuries to the kidneys, which reside at the back of the lower abdomen

These are all significant injuries which could lead to severe complications. Some of the symptoms of penetrating abdominal injuries include pain that gets worse with movement, major bleeding and feeling lightheaded. Because of this, it is important for everyone to seek medical care as quickly as possible.

Emergent Treatment and Management of Penetrating Abdominal Injuries

If someone has been involved in an auto accident and suffered a penetrating injury of the abdomen, call 911 right away. Do not remove the object if it is still in place. Removing the object could lead to catastrophic bleeding. The individual needs to go to a hospital. Some of the first steps in the treatment of a penetrating abdominal injury include:

  • Providing the individual with extra oxygen and intravenous fluids, if needed
  • Getting a blood transfusion started in situations of extreme blood loss
  • Gathering images of the abdomen to see what tissues have been damaged

Once these images have been obtained, a trained surgeon will probably take the individual to an operating room. There, the object will be removed and any tears to the tissues underneath can be repaired. After this, the individual will need to be watched closely. Some of the complications that might develop include:

  • The wound might reopen
  • Infections could develop
  • The individual might have difficulty eating and drinking

It is easy to see how this process can be stressful for a family. This is even more difficult if their loved one develops complications following a motor vehicle accident. Who might be able to provide assistance?

Contacting a Personal Injury Attorney

A penetrating abdominal wound is a medical emergency that often requires surgery to repair. This can leave families under a significant amount of stress, wondering what they should do next. After seeking medical care, it is important to speak with a compassionate personal injury lawyer. An experienced legal professional can provide assistance by:

  • Helping an injured person seek compensation for their injuries, lost wages, pain, and suffering
  • Put together the evidence relating to the accident, even helping to reconstruct what happened
  • In some cases, a legal professional can also negotiate with an insurance company to get the maximum allowable amount paid out under the policy
  • If the case needs to go to court, a personal injury lawyer can help a family through this process

Under these circumstances, a family has enough to worry about. Allow a personal injury lawyer in Roseville to take some of the burdens off of your shoulders. You and your loved ones could be deserving of a financial reward.

Roseville Personal Injury Injury Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, a Roseville personal injury lawyer. A penetrating injury of the stomach area can lead to numerous complications including damage to the internal organs. If you or a family member has developed injuries in an accident, call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.

I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

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