What are the causes of ruptured spleen?

Ruptured Spleen

The spleen is a small organ located in the upper left quadrant of the abdomen under the ribcage (well above and far left of the belly button). If you could see the spleen, it looks purple and squishy. It’s considered a solid organ, meaning it’s not hollow like a bladder or a stomach. Its consistency is more like a small version of the liver. The full function of the spleen is still under debate, but we do know it plays a major role in the immune system.

Half of the spleen tissue is called the red pulp and is responsible for filtering out old and damaged red blood cells, and acts as a reservoir for platelets and red blood cells. The other tissue is the white pulp, which produces antibodies and is connected to the lymphatic system.

A ruptured spleen refers to bleeding into the abdominal cavity from a torn or lacerated spleen. Most spleen damage is due to traumatic injury, but it can occur spontaneously if the spleen is inflamed or diseased.

All of the circulation of blood and lymph through the spleen makes it a prime candidate for bleeding if injured. Of patients with traumatic injuries to multiple body systems, 10 to 12 percent have abdominal trauma.1 The liver and spleen are the two most commonly injured abdominal organs. Considering trauma is the fourth leading cause of death,2 that indicates a lot of ruptured spleens and livers.

Unhealthy mature woman holding belly, suffering from pain

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