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This one's probably mostly for nurzratche or emt420 or… - Tina Marie's Ramblings
Red hair and black leather, my favorite colour scheme...
skywhisperer
skywhisperer
This one's probably mostly for nurzratche or emt420 or maybe norvelllouwho, but:

What is it about spleens that makes them rupture so much? Both as a motorcyclist and a skydiver, I hear all the time about people ruptuing their spleen from trauma. Why the spleen? Why don't you hear about ruptured livers, or stomachs, for example?

Current Mood: curious curious

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Comments
emt420 From: emt420 Date: May 28th, 2007 08:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's a bulbous structure that contains a liquid, much like the urinary or gall bladder, except it has no bony protection around it whatsoever, making it very vulnerable to blunt trauma.
skywhisperer From: skywhisperer Date: May 28th, 2007 08:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
That makes sense. Thanks. :)
ptomblin_lj From: ptomblin_lj Date: May 28th, 2007 08:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's the only internal organ that one must vent. Therefore, I assume people who burst them are people who don't vent them on a regular basis. I feel that I am in no danger in this regard.
skywhisperer From: skywhisperer Date: May 28th, 2007 10:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, but I've never met a motorcyclist or a skydiver that had any problem venting whenever they felt it necessary.
acelightning From: acelightning Date: May 29th, 2007 12:13 am (UTC) (Link)
more than you ever wanted to know about the spleen. basically, it's soft, and somewhere between spongy and liquid-filled, and - as emt420 points out - not protected by anything in particular. i can see how a skydiver's harness might be able to crush the spleen, and of course in a motorcycle accident, a person could land wrong in any number of different ways. the liver is right next to it, but the liver's bigger, and i think the liver can heal better after blunt trauma. but you can rupture your liver. the stomach at least has a built-in pressure release - just punch someone in the lower chest and watch them puke ;-)

arthur_sc_king From: arthur_sc_king Date: May 29th, 2007 12:34 am (UTC) (Link)
When we were kids, we set up plywood ramps and jumped them on our bikes all the time. One guy (I wasn't there to see this, but heard all about it) landed weird so his front wheel twisted 90°. The result was that one handlebar poked him right in the gut. You guessed it; ruptured spleen. Luckily, YellowSnow is small enough that getting him to hospital for an emergency splenectomy was no big deal. I think he was about 9 at the time.

Unfortunately, he ended up dying of cancer when he was like 17 or so. Bummer. He was more a friend of my brother's, being a few years younger than me.

But yeah, ruptured spleens happen all the time. And because they're basically full of blood and spongy (not like big blood vessels in 'em), the only way to stop complete exsanguination is to rip the thing right out. Fortunately, your bone marrow can keep making blood cells quite adequately; an example of useful redundancy in our systems.
skywhisperer From: skywhisperer Date: May 29th, 2007 02:05 am (UTC) (Link)
That's funny, because while I've been wondering for a while, what prompted me to post it was running into an old friend at lunch, who was telling me about some friend of his who ruptured his spleen by hitting it with the handlebar of his motorcycle.
arthur_sc_king From: arthur_sc_king Date: May 29th, 2007 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)
(re hopefulnebula's comment) Oh, right, Forsberg, during the 2001 playoffs. Someone cross-checked him in the gut, IIRC.

But yeah, bicycle/motorcycle handlebars to the gut are probably the leading cause of ruptured spleens in North America.
hopefulnebula From: hopefulnebula Date: May 29th, 2007 12:44 am (UTC) (Link)
They're squishy, and in a squishy area.

(Hockey players sometimes rupture their spleens too. My favorite player is nicknamed "the Spleendid Swede."
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