Hesperian Health Guides

Abdomen Injuries and Wounds

If the belly has suffered a blow, such as from a hard fall, vehicle accident, or getting hit or kicked, look for bruises which are signs of bleeding trapped in the body. Too much bleeding inside the body can lead to shock. Also watch for these signs of serious injury to the abdomen:

Danger signs
  • Severe pain
  • Confusion
  • Belly hard like a board, or growing larger
  • Signs of blood loss: feeling faint, growing pale, fast pulse

For any of these danger signs, treat for shock and get help. Do not give any food or drink. See Belly Pain, Diarrhea, and Worms for more on emergencies of the abdomen.

a wound with part of the gut coming out.
If part of the gut spills out of the body, cover it with a clean cloth soaked in lightly salted water and get help. Do not push the guts back in.

An object sticking out of the body

For an object sticking out of the abdomen, it is usually safest to leave it in and get help. Even if help is days away, do not pull out the object. Secure it in place with bandages or fabric.

a man bleeding from a wound caused by a stick in his abdomen.

This page was updated:17 Sep 2020