Abdominal stab wounds are sustained on abdomen when a sharp object penetrated the abdominal cavity. The knife blade and the projectile fragments are often linked with penetrating wounds. Since there are several vital organs in the abdominal area, the potential for injury can lead to several health complications that involve the affected organs. The injury that is sustained to the abdominal area tends to vary depending on the length and size of the object that cause the wound as well as the force of the angle of penetration.
The small and large bowel fills most of the space in the abdominal cavity. If the intestines are damaged due to penetration, the bowel contents will spill into the abdominal cavity and increase the risk for severe infections. Once infections develop, it would only worsen the overall condition of the individual.
Liver and spleen
The liver is considered as the biggest solid organ in the body and can be involved in most cases of abdominal stab wounds. It is important to note that the liver is frequently injured due to its anterior location and lack of protection. As for the spleen, it is one of the organs that can be injured during a stab wound. It is located in the left upper quadrant in the abdomen. Both the spleen and liver are vascular organs that can cause profuse bleeding and require immediate medical attention to prevent complications.
The diaphragm which is responsible for respiration can end up damaged from an abdominal stab wound. If the diaphragm is injured, it can result to significant problems with breathing. This poses as a life-threatening scenario since the individual might not be able to breathe normally.
Major abdominal vessels
The major blood vessels such as the inferior vena cava, aorta and mesenteric veins are also located within the abdominal cavity. Any injury to these blood vessels can lead to severe bleeding and even death if the bleeding is not controlled right away.
Injury to other organs
There is also possibility that other organs can be damaged when an individual sustains an abdominal stab wound. It includes the bladder, stomach and kidneys. Once these organs are damaged, it would require surgical repair to prevent further damage.
What is the outcome?
There are various tests that are carried out in order to determine if there are any internal injuries present caused by the abdominal stab wound. In most cases, a CT scan is performed as well as FAST (focused assessment sonography for trauma exam). Individuals who sustained stab wounds to the abdomen face a higher risk for bleeding and infection. Take note that abdominal stab wounds are considered more common than gunshot wounds. An emergency course in handling this type of injury will prepare you on what to do in case one occurs.