Quick Chart
  • Abdominal trauma is blunt or penetrating trauma that may involve one or more of the major organs contained in the abdominal cavity. 
Clinical Presentation
  • Suggestive mechanism of injury associated with:
    • Pain
    • Tenderness
    • Nausea and/or vomiting
    • Bruising
    • Guarding or rigidity
Exclusion Criteria
Exclusion Criteria
Risk Assessment
  • Assess for tenderness, guarding and rigidity by gentle palpation of all four quadrants of the abdomen.
  • Shoulder tip pain may be indicative of pathology in the abdomen and reflect an injury which is irritating the diaphragm (Kehr's sign).
Primary Care
Intermediate Care (EMT / Level 2)
  • Administer pain relief
  • Consider applying cardiac monitor if trained and authorised
  • Monitor patient persistently, recording full observations every 10 minutes (or 5 minutes if time critical)
  • Transport Priority 1 if patient time critical, pre-notifying receiving facility
Advanced Care (AP)
Critical & Extended Care (CCP, PSO)
  • As per Advanced Care (AP) guidelines
Additional Information
  • Be mindful that upper abdominal wounds, especially penetrating trauma, may also cause major thoracic damage.

Key Terms & Links
Colour assist:

Document Control

Clinical Services

Responsible Manager
Head of Clinical Services

Published Date

Review Date

St John Ambulance Western Australia Ltd © Copyright 2020, All Rights Reserved

Privacy Policy | Copyright Statement & Disclaimer