What is bladder trauma?

Bladder trauma is a serious injury to the bladder. A person can experience trauma to the bladder due to an accident, after a physical attack, during childbirth, or even during some types of surgery. It is usually important to seek immediate medical attention for bladder trauma as it can be fatal in some cases. The treatment methods used and the ease of recovery generally depend on the cause and extent of the trauma.

Car accidents are a common cause of bladder trauma. The injury can be caused by the seat belt or by the impact with other parts of the car. However, an individual can also sustain this type of injury after falling from a significant height or sustaining a kick or blow to the pelvic area. A person can also sustain trauma to the bladder due to a puncture or gunshot wound to the pelvic region. In some cases, a woman may sustain this type of injury due to pressure from the baby's head during a very long and difficult labor, or surgical tools may damage the bladder during pelvic surgery.

The bladder is more likely to sustain traumatic injury when it is full rather than empty or nearly empty. For example, if a person is in a car accident while wearing a seat belt, the seat belt can apply force to the pelvic area. If an individual has a full bladder at this time, he is more likely to sustain a bladder injury than he would be if he emptied his bladder before getting into the car. In addition to a full bladder, age can influence vulnerability to bladder trauma. Children are more likely to sustain bladder injuries from blunt force because their pelvic bones have not finished developing and provide less protection for the bladder.

Symptoms of bladder trauma include pain, especially below the navel, and blood in the urine. In some cases, a large hole develops in the bladder and a person's urine flows into their abdomen. When this happens, you can't urinate, which is another symptom. In addition, symptoms may include a lighter-than-normal urine stream, painful urination, and back pain.

Treatment for bladder trauma generally depends on the type of injury and its extent. In many cases, these injuries require surgical treatment. Sometimes, however, doctors place a catheter to drain urine or allow clots to pass while the bladder heals on its own.

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