Key messages

• The approach to abdominal injuries is determined by the mechanism, the location and whether the injury is pentrating or blunt.

• Diagnostic peritoneal lavage, CT, ultrasound, and laparoscopy each have their indications for diagnostic evaluation.

• In general, intra-abdominal penetration requires early laparotomy.

• Blunt injuries to the liver and spleen may be observed in the intensive care unit if the patients are hemodynamically stable, although invasive monitoring may be necessary.

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