Abdominal Crises II
With national concern critically focussed upon the increasing problem of accidents it is well to remember that although the vast majority of injuries affect the extremities and although these injuries are a cause of great morbidity it is injuries to the head, the chest and the abdomen which kill. The closed head injury of civilian life is more misleading and often more rapidly fatal than many open wounds where the brain is exposed. So with abdominal injuries the intact abdomen may make diagnosis difficult and encourage a false sense of security. If the abdominal contents are damaged, two disasters may befall. First—and most urgent—is internal haemorrhage from lacerations of the solid viscera, especially spleen or liver, or from tearing of vessels. Later, if hollow organs have been damaged, the escape of their contents will lead to peritonitis.
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