Gunshot wounds to the abdomen are often catastrophic due to the numerous vital organs the human body has in that specific area. A gunshot to the abdomen can cause damage to the liver, spine, intestines, stomach, colon, kidneys, or any other number of structures in the abdomen. To determine the level of damage a person has suffered, a healthcare provider will have to undergo a variety of tests and procedures, including:
- An x-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI: These tests can reveal damage to the heart, lungs, spine, abdominal organs, or blood vessels. Additionally, if the bullet is still lodged in the person’s body, these tests can show its location. Gunshot wound victims might be given contrast liquid to make the organs and blood vessels more visible in pictures. Some individuals are allergic to contrast liquid, so if this applies to you, make sure you tell your healthcare provider.
- Blood and urine tests: Testing the urine or blood of a gunshot wound victim can reveal any infections, such as a kidney infection, providing more information for your doctor about your overall condition.
- Endoscopy: This can reveal damage to the esophagus, stomach, or small intestines. If minor damage to these organs is discovered, they can also be repaired during the endoscopy.
- Surgery: In severe cases, surgery might be necessary to find damage or to locate where a gunshot wound survivor is bleeding from.
Treating Severe Gunshot Wounds
For gunshot wounds that penetrate deep into the skin or damage organs, there are a number of treatments that might be necessary to address the wound. This includes:
- Medication: To treat or prevent infection, a gunshot wound survivor might be given a tetanus shot. Tetanus infections are severe, so if you have not had a vaccine or booster within the past 5 years, make sure you tell your doctor.
- Blood transfusion: Gunshot wound victims often lose a lot of blood as a result of their injury, making blood transfusions necessary.
- IV fluids: The administration of IV fluids can help prevent dehydration and increase a patient’s blood flow to major organs.
- An endotracheal tube: This can be inserted to protect a gunshot wound victim’s airways and assist with breathing. An endotracheal tube is a hollow is a plastic tube that is attached to a respirator that provides patients with oxygen and breathes for them when they have difficulties breathing on their own.
- Surgery: In some cases, surgery might be necessary to repair damage to organs or blood vessels, remove the bullet, and clean the wound.
Skilled Catastrophic Injury Attorneys in Atlanta
If you sustained a catastrophic gunshot wound, you need to hire an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to ensure you are able to hold the responsible party liable and obtain the fair and just compensation you need and deserve during this difficult time. At Pratt Clay, LLC in Atlanta, our catastrophic injury team is dedicated to fighting on behalf of those who have been wrongfully injured. Backed by a history of success, you can rest assured your case will be in good hands with us.