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12th July, 20212 min read

What is a blunt abdominal injury?

Medical reviewer:Dr Adiele Hoffman
Author:Dr Ann Nainan
Last reviewed: 13/07/2021
Medically reviewed

All of Healthily's articles undergo medical safety checks to verify that the information is medically safe. View more details in our safety page, or read our editorial policy.

What is a blunt abdominal injury?

A blunt abdominal injury is an injury caused by an object hitting your abdomen (tummy) without piercing your skin. It’s most commonly caused by car accidents, but other causes include falls and being hit by someone.

A blunt abdominal injury can damage different parts of your abdomen, from the abdominal wall to its blood vessels and the organs it holds.

But the exact injuries you develop tends to depend on how much pressure was put on your body.

What are the symptoms of a blunt abdominal injury?

The symptoms you can expect from a blunt abdominal injury usually depend on how much damage the injury caused and which organs were injured. Common organs that may be damaged by this type of injury are your spleen, liver and bowels.

Symptoms of a blunt abdominal injury may include:

  • pain in your tummy, especially when you touch it
  • bleeding from your bottom
  • pain in your shoulder or back
  • shortness of breath
  • a fast heart rate
  • dizziness or feeling faint
  • tummy bloating

How is a blunt abdominal injury diagnosed and treated?

A doctor will usually diagnose a blunt abdominal injury based on your symptoms and how you got the injury. They may also do an ultrasound or CT scan to check for organ damage.

If you have a blunt abdominal injury, you'll usually need to be treated in hospital. You may be given oxygen and fluids, especially if you’re bleeding.

In some cases, you may need surgery to stop the bleeding.

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