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Any kind of injury that involves the abdomen — or belly — and can affect the organs in the abdomen, like the liver, spleen, kidney and the small or large intestines.

Anatomy of the BodyCommon injuries can be:

  • Abrasions or lacerations (scrapes and cuts)
  • Contusions or hematomas (bruises)
  • Rupture or perforation (severe tearing of the tissue)

The most common mechanisms of abdominal trauma include blunt injuries versus penetrating injuries.

Blunt Trauma

Blunt trauma is any injury caused to the body by forceful impact by a dull object or surface.

Common causes:

  • Car accidents
  • Contact collisions in sports
  • Falls
  • Physical assault, like a punch to the body

Penetrating Trauma

Penetrating trauma occurs when a foreign object — like a knife or bullet — pierces the skin and enters the body and creates a wound that connects the inside of your body and the outside world.

Common causes:

  • Gunshot wound
  • Stabbing

How do providers diagnose abdominal trauma?

There are many ways to evaluate abdominal injury, including:

  • Physical examination
  • CT scan
  • Blood work
  • Ultrasound

How do providers treat abdominal trauma?

Treatment depends on the organ that is injured and the severity of the injury. It may range from watching the patient closely to surgery.

Some resources for you to explore: