Background: Haemoabdomen (also sometimes called haemoperitoneum) is the pathological accumulation of blood within the peritoneal cavity and can present a challenging clinical scenario. It frequently combines an emergency presentation with a condition that can have many different causes, some of which carry a poor prognostic outlook and limited likely survival times. The main objectives for patients with haemoabdomen include re-establishing and supporting an effective circulating blood volume, confirming the diagnosis and identifying the extent of abnormalities present, maintaining oxygen-carrying capacity to the tissues and arresting/controlling ongoing haemorrhage.
Aim of the article: This article discusses how to provide an efficient and comprehensive but logical diagnostic approach to haemoabdomen, and how to combine it with sound decision making and excellent client communication to achieve the optimum outcome for each patient.
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