Major Abdominal Trauma: Critical Decisions and New Frontiers in Management

Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2018 Feb;36(1):149-160. doi: 10.1016/j.emc.2017.08.012.


A standardized approach should be used with a patient with abdominal trauma, including primary and secondary surveys, followed by additional diagnostic testing as indicated. Specific factors can make the diagnosis of serious abdominal trauma challenging, particularly in the face of multiple and severe injuries, unknown mechanism of injury, altered mental status, and impending or complete cardiac arrest. Advances in technology in diagnosis and/or treatment with ultrasound, helical computed tomography, and resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA) have significantly advanced trauma care, and are still the focus of current and ongoing investigations.

Keywords: FAST; Focused abdominal sonogram for trauma; Major abdominal trauma; REBOA; Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Injuries / diagnosis
  • Abdominal Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Abdominal Injuries / therapy*
  • Biomedical Research
  • Humans
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Triage
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / diagnosis
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / therapy
  • Wounds, Penetrating / diagnosis
  • Wounds, Penetrating / therapy