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Liver or Spleen Laceration
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A liver or spleen laceration is a cut, tear, or puncture in your liver or spleen. These injuries may or may not happen at the same time.
Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) for any of the following:
- You feel lightheaded, short of breath, and have chest pain.
- You cough up blood.
- You have trouble breathing.
Seek care immediately if:
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- Your skin or eyes are yellow.
- Your abdomen is larger than normal, firm, and painful.
- You look pale or feel weak, dizzy, or faint.
- You have new or worsening pain.
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- Your wound comes apart.
- You are vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds.
- You have blood in your bowel movements.
- You have pain in your left shoulder.
Call your doctor if:
- You have a fever.
- Your wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.
- Your pain does not get better after you take your pain medicine.
- You have nausea or are vomiting.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need any of the following:
- Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
- Antibiotics help treat or prevent a bacterial infection.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Take a short walk 2 to 3 times each day. This may prevent blood clots and help you heal faster. Do not play contact sports such as football or soccer. These activities can increase your risk for bleeding from your liver or spleen. Do not drive until your healthcare provider says it is okay. Ask your healthcare provider when you can return to your regular activities and work or school.
Do not take aspirin or NSAIDs:
These medicines may increase your risk for bleeding.
Care for your wound as directed:
Do not remove your bandage for 24 hours or as directed. When your healthcare provider says you can shower, carefully wash around the wound with soap and water. It is okay to let soap and water gently run over your wound. Do not scrub your wound. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty. Check your wound every day for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or pus. Do not take a bath or swim until your healthcare provider says it is okay. These actions may cause an infection.
Follow up with your doctor 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.
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