Have you ever seen the aftermath of a brutal fight? Be it on television or live, fights involve a lot of internal trauma that can weaken your body in every aspect. For instance, a power-packed punch to the stomach can cause pain and discomfort on another level. There are various complications accompanying internal bleeding and it does not look pretty.
In this blog, we will discover how a punch to the stomach can cause internal bleeding and some tips for first-aid when someone has been injured. So, if you want to understand the anatomy of the abdomen and the symptoms of internal bleeding, this blog is for you.
How Does A Stomach Punch Cause Internal Bleeding?
You must have seen it in movies or read it in novels that when a person punches the other person it is most likely to be on the stomach. For some, the blows are hard to take, and for some, it causes mild discomfort. But when the force comes in contact with the stomach, it hits the internal organs which can deform the organs within abdominal activity.
The abdominal organs consist of the stomach, esophagus, intestines, liver, spleen, kidneys, appendix, pancreas, and gall bladder. Any external disturbances around these regions can cause temporary or permanent shock to the organs which has the potential to ruin its purpose. It can cause internal bleeding in either of the organs and there is a possibility that a person may also go into shock.
The ribcage protecting the organs can compress them and lead to rupturing of a blood vessel. This ruptured blood vessel can cause internal bleeding. Another aspect of a punch causing internal bleeding is that the organs Liver and spleen are more vulnerable to damage because of their soft consistency and rich vascularity.
Causes Of Internal Bleeding
Internal bleeding occurs when your body experiences serious trauma. Some can heal on their own, while others require medical intervention to stop the bleeding. They can appear in the head, around the lungs, the heart, liver, spleen, or large blood vessels.
There are two scenarios when your body can have internal bleeding. That is:
✔ Blunt Injury
This is the physical trauma that your body goes through. Like falls, physical assault, car accidents, or engaging in fights. When your body smashes something with great force, the blood vessels may rupture or cause organ damage. The first instinct for preventing internal bleeding is to protect yourself from the blows or protect your stomach by folding yourself into a ball.
✔ Penetrating Injury
Here, your body experiences internal bleeding when you are under medical surgery, have been shot at, or have been stabbed by a knife. This injury causes blood loss and you can identify the source of blood loss. In this case, seeking medical help should be your priority as extreme blood loss can result in decreased oxygen distribution and heart failure because of increased blood pressure.
Symptoms Of Internal Bleeding
If you have had a heavy blow to your belly, then there is a possibility that you might be experiencing these symptoms.
- A visible lump underneath the skin where you got the injury
- Blood in your stools
- Faint-like feeling
- Having chest pains
- Low blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Feeling short of breath
- Muscle pain
- Skin turning into a dark purple shade
- Coughing up blood
- Stiffness in your joints
- Feeling confused
Treatment For Internal Bleeding
Internal bleeding causes blood loss and damage throughout the body due to the liver, which leads to poor blood flow to other organs and tissues. Treatment is usually given in the emergency medical room. Intravenous fluids and blood are given to prevent or treat high blood pressure.
Imaging testing (usually ultrasound, CT scan, or both) can determine if there is internal bleeding. Doctors will take into account bleeding from the inside, as well as the victim’s blood pressure and the severity of the injury, to determine the best treatment (surgery or observation).
When internal bleeding is slow or slow, observation may be necessary first. Sometimes bleeding from an injury stops on its own but it might take a little longer in some cases. High blood pressure or severe pain caused by an injury may require surgery to reverse the problem. When internal bleeding is severe, emergency surgery may be performed within minutes of arriving at the hospital.
First Aid Practices For Internal Bleeding
When you cannot get through a hospital or medical assistance, then as a layman, these steps will help you to save someone from internal bleeding.
- Get emergency medical help and telephone the nearest emergency room.
- Stay with the patient all the time till help arrives. If safe, stay with the patient and keep them calm and hopeful while you wait.
- Do not give the patient anything to eat or drink because they may need surgery or other treatment, which may cause complete abdominal pain.
- Encourage the patient to lie down and remain still to avoid further complications.
- If external bleeding occurs in the wound, please apply pressure to the bleeding area using a clean cloth or sterile dressing. Do not try to control internal bleeding.
- Do not give patients medicine, including antibiotics, as it may interfere with the medicine.
- To prevent hypothermia, keep the person warm with a blanket or blanket and clothing, but do not apply direct heat to the injured area.
- Try to reach the next of kin or relatives from their cell phone and inform them about the accident.
If bleeding from the chest or abdomen is not controlled, the body loses enough circulating red blood, which affects oxygen delivery to cells in the body. Cells change from aerobic metabolism, which uses oxygen, to anaerobic metabolism. This is only a temporary solution and if it continues, the body’s acid-base balance will be affected. If not enough cells work, the body may also begin to fail. If the blood stops, the patient dies.
- National Institute Of Health(2012) RECOGNITION AND MANAGEMENT OF ABDOMINAL INJURIES AT ATHLETIC EVENTS available online at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3414076/
- National Institute Of Health(2016) Treatment for GI Bleeding available online at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/gastrointestinal-bleeding/treatment