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Emergency Conditions: Knowing what a ruptured spleen is

Spleen is an organ that helps in the filtration of blood through removal of damaged or old platelets and blood cells. Although it is not a critical organ that helps sustain life, it has immunological functions necessary for the destruction of infection and other foreign bodies by producing antibodies. A ruptured spleen is considered as an emergency medical condition, because once it bleeds severely, it could result to internal hemorrhage.

What are the common causes of spleen injury?

The spleen is located in the upper left quadrant of the abdomen just beneath the rib cage, so whenever there has been a forceful blow to the rib cage or lungs, as well as in the upper portion of the abdomen, it could likely result to a ruptured spleen.  Activities like a sports accident, car accident, falling off a bicycle or motorcycle, fist fights and other contact sports are the common causes of spleen injuries. Remember that if this condition will not be given proper emergency attention, it could cause internal bleeding.

There are also some diseases and medical conditions that could increase the risk of ruptured spleen and these include malaria, infectious mononucleosis, and hematological diseases like lymphoma and hemolytic anemia where spleen injury is the hallmark sign of the illness.

Most cases of ruptured spleen are managed and treated through emergency surgeries, but there are some lighter cases, in which hospital management for a few days is enough to let the injured spleen recover. It is therefore important to have the patient seek medical attention as soon as possible to help in the assessment and diagnosis of the condition, as well as to determine the extent of the injury.

What are the different signs of symptoms of an injured spleen?

Stomach Problems - Stomach Pains

Because the spleen is located at the upper portion of the abdomen, it causes abdominal bleeding that could be light or severe, depending on the extent of the injury. The pain could also radiate to other body parts, such as the left chest, left shoulder blade and left portion of the diaphragm.

Emergency reminder: a severely injured spleen could result to hypovolemic shock and decreased blood pressure. Call emergency if the patient exhibits the following: confusion, lightheadedness, blurry vision, nausea and vomiting and fainting.

Having the right knowledge about a ruptured spleen could help save someone’s life. Enroll in a first aid course to learn more about some of the common emergency conditions and the ways to manage them.

 

 

 

Related Video on Ruptured Spleen:

 

 

Sources:

“Diseases and Conditions: Ruptured Spleen.” Mayo Clinic. Retrieved online on July 22, 2014 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ruptured-spleen/basics/definition/con-20029359

“Ruptured Spleen.” Web MD. Retrieved online on July 22, 2014 from http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/ruptured-spleen

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