Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 11/10/2002 1:36:28 PM EDT
I went out riding my sport quad yesterday and witnessed a pretty serious crash. A guy hit a jump on his bike and came down in such a way that he let go and the bike landed on top him. Me and a friend of mine were the first two to get to him. He was unconcious for about two minutes. Anyway, another guy came over that is a nurse and he started first aid. When the paramedics got there he gave them a sitrep on the guy. He told them that his abdomen was still soft. So my question is; what does the consistency of the abdomen indicate?
Link Posted: 11/10/2002 1:45:13 PM EDT
Distension or tautness of the abdomen can be an indicator of internal bleeding. Ever get a physical? Ever have the MD do the "tap" thing over your belly in a few places? He's checking for internal bleeding, revealed as distension of the peritoneum. The reason for doing it as part of a physical is in the event of latent and minor trauma that does not heal correctly. It is possible for there to be internal bleeding without the symptoms of hypovolemic shock ("bleeding out") due to a minor trauma that does not heal. In some cases, a hernia (rupture) can also be indicated as distension in the abdomen. Most commonly, tho, this is a check for internal bleeding. FFZ
Link Posted: 11/10/2002 1:54:13 PM EDT
Correct, you are assessing for bleeding and ruptured organs. In the Surgical ICU at my hospital, patients that have had surgery for abdominal injuries such as gunshot wounds will have bladder pressure readings done post-op. The theory is abdominal bleeding will cause pressure changes in the bladder way before you will be able to palpate the distention.
Link Posted: 11/10/2002 2:05:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/10/2002 2:06:49 PM EDT by ChrisLe]
The abdomen, by virtue of the fact that it contains multiple organs, is prone to injury when one is involved in the type of accident you described. For these reasons, an abdominal exam is an integral part of assessing a trauma patient. By palpating (touching) and auscultating (listening)to the abdomen one can reasonably ascertain what, if any, internal injury may be involved. Signs like abdominal rigidity, point tenderness, rebound tenderness, guarding, bruising, presence or absence of bowel sounds, pulsating masses, and other signs can indicate internal bleeding, ruptured or bruised organs, or other such injuries. Hope this helps answer your question.
Link Posted: 11/10/2002 2:32:39 PM EDT
To break it down for you, from someone who is nearly a layman too, my understanding of the rigidity is that it is caused when free blood impinges on the periteneal membrane lining the abdomen. The membrane gets hard because the blood irritates it. But I am just two steps above layman, so the medic level people may be able to easily shout me down as wrong..... Scott (EMT-B)
Top Top