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Abdominal bleeding is a serious medical condition characterized by a site of bleeding in the abdomen. It can be caused by a number of things, from disease to trauma to the abdomen. This medical condition requires prompt intervention, with the patient usually ending up in surgery so that the source of the bleeding can be identified and addressed. It is an especially common concern in the wake of a major trauma such as a car accident.
The symptoms of abdominal bleeding can vary. Pain and tenderness in the abdomen are common, along with distention and rigidity. The patient may experience nausea and vomiting, and may excrete or vomit blood. If the bleed is severe, the patient may go into shock, a state characterized by confusion, chills, lethargy, and eventual unconsciousness.
Ruptured blood vessels and organs can cause abdominal bleeding, as can tumors, ulcers, and other health problems. In all cases, the medical team usually responds by stabilizing the patient and using medical imaging and tests to confirm that bleeding is occurring in the abdomen. Once the bleeding has been diagnosed, the patient can be taken into surgery so that the abdomen can be opened up for the purpose of identifying the cause of the bleed.
This condition can be a precursor to peritonitis or other medical problems, which is why prompt treatment is critical. If the source of a bleed is something like a ruptured blood vessel, a surgeon may be able to correct the problem and stabilize the patient quickly. Ruptured arteries and organs will require more extensive surgical repairs, and the surgery can be complicated by the fact that the patient's body has often gone into shock as a result of the bleeding and blood loss. Substantial blood transfusions may be needed during and after the surgery to address the blood loss.
As a general rule, abdominal bleeding is treated as a medical emergency, because it can indicate a serious underlying medical condition, and it may lead to medical complications which will be difficult to treat. People with symptoms like severe abdominal tenderness and blood-streaked vomit should definitely seek medical attention as quickly as possible, especially if they have experienced an abdominal trauma. The trauma does not necessarily have to be severe; a relatively light blow in the wrong area of the abdomen or the lower back can cause catastrophic abdominal bleeding.