St. Louis Abdominal Injury Lawyer
Blunt Abdominal Vessel Trauma
Within the abdominal cavity, the aorta (the largest blood vessel in the body that carries blood directly from your heart to the rest of the body) runs along the posterior aspect, near the spine, and eventually divides into two large vessels – the right and left iliacs, that are responsible for carrying blood to the legs. Coming off of the aorta are major branches that supply blood to all of the abdominal organs. An injury to any of these major blood vessels could be very devastating and lead to permanent organ damage or even wrongful death.
Blunt force to the abdomen transmits a shearing and tearing force to the abdominal aorta and its' major branches which can result in small tears in the vessel wall, occlusion of the vessel, or complete disruption. With a small tear in the vessel wall, the injury promotes blood clot formation which can break off and travel in the circulation, eventually blocking a vessel and occluding blood supply to that area of the body.
In the case of a small injury, such as small tear in the vessel wall, there may not be any associated symptoms initially. However, a blood clot will form and at some point, particularly with subsequent trauma, it can be dislodged and travel to a smaller vessel where it will occlude the blood flow. The occluded blood vessel can cause permanent damage to an organ or it can cause pain, weakness, and loss of feeling in the extremities.
With a more severe injury, symptoms can include absent or diminished pulses in the lower extremities, shortness of breath, abdominal pain or pain radiating to the back. And with complete avulsion of the aorta, massive internal bleeding will be rapid and fatal. Symptoms of shock may be present with either of these cases – fast heart beat, rapid breathing, pale skin, and lightheadedness, or loss of consciousness.
Treatment and Prognosis
Treatment is surgical repair and/or stent placement to recreate an intact open vessel. A beta-blocker, such as metoprolol, may be given to control blood pressure and heart rate. A blood transfusion may be necessary with blood loss.
Mortality may be very high but those with a successful surgery have a good prognosis. However, with any surgical manipulation or injury to a vessel it always increases the chances of blood clot formation later in life.
Talk to John J. Page Today
Coping with an injury related to blunt abdominal vessel trauma caused in an accident is a complex process. Our St. Louis abdominal trauma lawyers can help take the burden off your shoulders as they review your case and give you the best advice on how you should move forward. Don't hesitate to call us at if you have any questions. We are here to help you.