Want to watch this video? Sign up for the course here. Or enter your email below to watch one free video.

Unlock This Video Now for FREE

This video is normally available to paying customers.
You may unlock this video for FREE. Enter your email address for instant access AND to receive ongoing updates and special discounts related to this topic.

The abdominal cavity lies below the ribcage and above the pelvic cavity. Unlike the chest and pelvic cavities, there are no bones to protect the abdomen and any injury may cause serious damage to some of the abdominal organs, including the liver, spleen, or stomach. It is also possible that there are injuries to both the pelvic and abdominal contents. Injury to any of these areas will require urgent medical assistance.

Different organs react in different ways when subjected to trauma. Hollow organs (such as the bladder) tend to rupture, releasing their contents into the surrounding space. Solid organs (such as the liver) tend to tear instead, often bleeding at a slow enough rate to be overlooked.

If a traumatic injury causes the patients's internal organs to protrude outside the abdominal wall, do not push them back in. Doing so will only cause greater complications. Instead, have the person lie flat with their knees bent and cover the organs with a moist, sterile dressing composed of a material that will not stick to the affected organs.

Do not allow the patient to eat or drink even if they are complaining of extreme hunger or thirst.

Finally, it is very important that you get immediate medical help for any injury. The job of the first aid responder is to stabilise the patient until help arrives.