Nonpenetrating injuries to the abdomen represent a challenging problem in our nation's hospitals today. There seems little likelihood—in a growing society in which nearly 40,000 persons annually are killed in automobile accidents, and 3,500,000 injured—that we can look with any optimism toward the prevention of these injuries. It is hoped that a review of the experience of the St. Louis City Hospital in the management of these wounds will contribute something to the understanding of this problem.
This is a survey of 141 abdominal injuries caused by blunt trauma, admitted to the St. Louis City Hospital between Jan. 1, 1948, and Jan. 1, 1958. Of these injuries 68% occurred in males, and 60% were under 30 years of age. With few exceptions, the injuries were sustained within the urban area of the city of St. Louis; 40% of all admissions were in the eight-hour period from 10 p.m.