Wound assessment

Caution is required in assessment of penetrating abdominal wounds. Patients with penetrating injury, even with normal vital signs, should be assessed by a senior surgeon. Unless the injury is trivial, all patients should be admitted to hospital for observation even if no further investigation is initially required. 

Do not remove any object remaining in the wound, such as a knife, as this may be tamponading underlying vessels.

Learning bite 

In a physiologically normal patient without signs of peritonism, wound exploration should only be undertaken by an experienced surgeon, ideally in theatre.