Case Report: Delayed Presentation of Bowel Obstruction Caused by Blunt Abdominal Trauma
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.5811/cpcem.2020.9.47034
Introduction: Bowel obstruction is a rare but well reported complication of blunt abdominal trauma (BAT). Obstruction is most often seen acutely caused by bowel wall hematomas and chronically as a result of post-traumatic strictures. Here, we present a novel case of BAT causing a subacute obstructing bowel wall hematoma.
Case Report: A healthy, 32-year-old male presented to our emergency department with three days of nausea and vomiting. Chart review revealed he had been seen two weeks prior after a high-speed motor vehicle collision. During that initial visit, the patient had a benign abdominal exam and was discharged without imaging. On this return visit, the patient was found to have a large, obstructing colonic hematoma.
Conclusion: Because emergency physicians care for patients in both the acute and subacute phases of trauma, clinicians should recognize the more subtle sequelae of BAT.