Bruised Liver (Contusion)

Bruised Liver

A bruised liver or a liver contusion occurs after a direct impact to the torso, resulting in bleeding within the organ. Car accidents are the most common cause of this injury. The pain will be severe and immediate, and there may be a referred pain in the right shoulder. Medical attention will be needed immediately to assess and monitor damage.

Symptoms of a Bruised Liver

  • Sudden pain on impact.
  • Pain and tenderness in the upper right of the abdomen.
  • Referred pain into the right shoulder.
  • Nausea.
  • In severe injuries when a lot of blood is lost, the patient could develop shock and possibly loose consciousness.
  • Severe injuries could actually be a laceration (tear) of the liver.

Treatment of a Liver Contusion

  • Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Your doctor will examine you and may perform an ultrasound or CT scan to assess the damage.
  • If the injury is just a contusion with no tearing then close observation is recommended for several days.
  • Blood tests will be repeated daily to check for blood loss.
  • The CT scan or ultrasound may also be repeated after a few days to check the liver is healing and there has been no bleeding.
  • Contusions tend to be relatively mild injuries which heal within a week or so.
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