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Blunt Abdominal Injury


A blunt abdominal injury

is a direct blow to the abdomen without an open wound. Organs such as your pancreas, liver, spleen, or bladder may be injured. Your intestines may also be injured. These injuries may cause internal bleeding.

Common symptoms include any of the following:

  • Abdominal pain, redness, and swelling
  • Bruises or scratches on the abdomen

Call 911 for any of the following:

  • You feel weak, lightheaded, or you faint.
  • You have a fast heartbeat, fast breathing, and pale, sweaty skin.
  • You have new or severe pain, swelling, or firmness in your abdomen.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have nausea and are vomiting.
  • You have blood in your urine or bowel movement.
  • You have new or severe pain in your back.
  • You have trouble urinating or having a bowel movement.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Treatment for a blunt abdominal injury

depends on how severe your injury is. Mild injuries, such as bruising and soreness, will be monitored for a short time. You may be given medicine to decrease swelling and pain. Symptoms of severe injuries may not appear for up to 8 hours. Severe injuries, such as damage to organs, blood vessels, and bones, may need surgery.

Apply ice:

Ice helps to decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel before you apply it to your skin. Place it on your injured area for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed.

Limit activity as directed:

This will help decrease pain and swelling, and prevent other injuries. Do not exercise or play sports until your healthcare provider says it is okay.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Blunt Abdominal Injury (Ambulatory Care)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.