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Abdominal Trauma Can Lead to a Tear of the Mesentery

 splenic infarction

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney. The abdomen is home to numerous organs and tissues which could be placed at risk with any trauma to the area. While the liver, spleen, and stomach receive a significant amount of attention, the mesentery can be at serious risk of rupturing as well. A recent clinical case report and review sought to bring more attention to this serious issue.

How does Abdominal Trauma Occur?

The abdomen houses numerous vital organs, such as the liver, which could be damaged by blunt trauma. This kind of a traumatic injury can occur in several different ways, including:

Auto Accidents: An auto accident is one of the most common ways that abdominal trauma can occur. Proper use of a seatbelt can help to prevent this injury; however, improper use of a seatbelt can actually increase the risk of abdominal trauma. Someone who doesn't wear their seatbelt could strike the steering wheel in an auto accident, damaging their abdominal tissues.

Contact Sports: Even though athletes playing contact sports wear padding and protection, they are still at risk of suffering internal injuries. Tackles in football can lead to serious abdominal trauma which could damage organs such as the liver and spleen.

Pedestrian Injuries: There are numerous injuries which can occur if a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle. Including bone fractures and abdominal issues, these injuries can be serious and could create a wrongful death situation if the injuries are bad enough.

The consequences of abdominal trauma can be serious and wide-ranging. A recent systematic review was published exploring the consequences of mesenteric injuries, which could be lifelong.

A Systematic Review of Mesenteric Injuries due to Trauma

A team of medical professionals conducted an extensive systemic review of the electronic databases to explore mesenteric injuries. When someone is involved in a serious auto accident, their abdominal compartment can be stretched, leading to tears in their intestines. When this happens, the matter inside of the intestines leaks into the abdomen, creating a surgical emergency which could quickly place someone in shock, leading to death. The researchers found that the most common mechanism of injury was abdominal accidents involving improper seatbelt use, such as not wearing the shoulder restraint. The most common symptoms that the researchers found included bruising, bleeding, and severe abdominal pain. Most physicians ordered a CT scan to confirm the injury, showing tears in the patient's intestines. After this, the patients were all taken to the operating room for emergent surgery, as is the expected treatment. The matter in the abdominal compartment was removed and the tears were repaired.

Treatment and Recovery can be Extensive

Everyone who has a tear in their small bowel requires a trip to the operating room for emergent repair. The surgeon will use suction catheters to remove the abdominal material and stitch up the tears in the small bowel to stop the flow of fluid. The researchers found that the average length of stay was about three weeks with a mortality rate of 15 percent. Those who survive the initial event are often not allowed to eat until their bowel resumes movement. This is to ensure that individuals are able to produce feces and do not develop a small bowel obstruction in addition to making sure that they do not re-tear their intestines by eating too soon after the injury. Eventually, most people make a full recovery and are able to eat a regular diet.

The Assistance of a Legal Professional can Make the Difference

When someone experiences trauma to the abdomen which includes a rupture of the mesentery, there are several different facets that could play a role in the stress of the individual and their family. When this happens, an experienced legal professional can provide key assistance, such as:

Getting Treatments and Medications Covered: There are many cases where health insurance companies may refuse to pay for treatments or medications related to this injury. If they refuse to do so, the hospital could ask the family to pay for it instead. Make sure this doesn't happen by trusting an attorney who can force the insurance company to pay for the medical costs.

Work-Related Issues: It is possible that this injury could keep someone out of work for an extended period of time. What happens if the employer decides to move on and hire someone new? There could be legal issues related to lost income that a lawyer can help to sort out.

Never-Ending Paperwork: When someone has a serious injury, there is a tremendous amount of paperwork that needs to be filled out related to the injury and any of the other issues that arise as a result of it. This paperwork can be confusing for someone who doesn't have experience dealing with such issues, which is where an attorney can make the difference.

Anyone with questions or concerns should consider contacting a Sacramento personal injury attorney who can provide both the expertise and compassion that is needed in such a serious situation.


Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney, Ed Smith


Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney. If you've been injured in an accident, call me for free, friendly advice at 916.921.6400.

The state of California's members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum has invited me to join its honored society. Numerous lists of some of the top-ranked trial representatives in the United States have included attorneys from our region. The members of this forum have received verdicts and helped to negotiate case settlements valued at over $1 Million dollars.

Please review my history of verdicts and settlements available here.

Many summaries and reviews authored by earlier customers are saved on Avvo, Yelp, and Google.

Image Attribution: Version 2.0 of the CC BY SA License has granted permission for reproduction of this scan, found first on Wikimedia Commons.

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