Date of Award

Spring 1986

Document Type



Life & Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Jean Smith

Second Advisor

John Addis

Third Advisor

John Semmens


This paper documents the retrospective chart review of thirty patients admitted to Harborview Medical Center Trauma Dept. in Seattle, Washington. All thirty patients were admitted under distress following motor vehicle accidents or other instances in which blunt abdominal trauma was encountered. The ensuing study focused on the preoperative and emergency room procedures that followed each patient’s admission. With the luxury of hindsight, correlations were then made between the actual extent of physical injury and possible early indicators of such injury in the attempt to formulate an ’’early warning system” for the physician to use in diagnosing traditionally asymptomatic abdominal injury. This "system” consisted of physical observations, laboratory data and emergency room procedures which, when arranged in a cascading pattern, served to effectively aid in the detection of serious abdominal injury. This system is named "The Abdominal Injury Battery". The components of this battery include: shock, hematuria, arterial pH and peritoneal lavage.