Blunt abdominal injuries, such as from a fall or a blow to the stomach, can cause severe bruising of the abdominal wall and bleeding from or rupture of the internal organs. These types of injuries are often caused by falls from a significant height. They can also be caused by car, bike, sledding, or skiing accidents in which the victim is thrown against an object or to the ground. Physical abuse is another possible cause of these injuries in children or adults.
Penetrating injuries result when a sharp object, such as a knife, or a projectile, such as a bullet, breaks through the wall of the belly. The risk of infection, bleeding, and organ damage is high if the object goes deep enough to enter the abdominal cavity.
After a minor injury to the belly, pain, nausea, or vomiting may occur. These symptoms usually improve within a few minutes. Pain and other symptoms that continue, increase, or develop after an injury may be a sign of organ damage.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerDavid Messenger, BSc, MD, FRCPC, FCCP - Emergency Medicine, Critical Care Medicine