Road traffic accidents are one of the leading causes of mortality. Blunt injury to the abdomen contributes to mortality second to head injury. The mechanism of injury in road traffic accidents is due to blunt force created by collision between the patient and the external forces and acceleration and deceleration forces acting on the person’s internal forces. The common solid organs involved in blunt abdominal trauma are the spleen, liver, and kidney. Mesenteric tears and isolated small bowel injuries can also occur. A high degree of suspicion and watchfulness, regular examination, imaging, and investigations are needed to diagnose blunt abdominal injury. The eFAST exam is an emergency screening tool used to diagnose intra-abdominal injuries in emergency departments. Treatment for these injuries depends on hemodynamic status, whether stable or unstable. Hemodynamically unstable patients with a positive eFAST exam will be taken up for emergency exploration, while stable patients will undergo further imaging and investigation to plan management. This chapter discusses the grades of injuries in the spleen, liver, mesentery, and retroperitoneum. It also discusses the various diagnostic and treatment modalities available and when and where to use them. This chapter is useful for surgical postgraduates, aspiring surgeons, and trauma surgeons.
Part of the book: Trauma and Emergency Surgery