A ruptured spleen is a medical emergency that occurs when your spleen develops a break in its surface. Your spleen, located just under your rib cage on your left side, helps your body fight infection and filter old blood cells from your bloodstream.
A ruptured spleen is generally caused by a forceful blow to your abdomen — during a sporting mishap, a fistfight or a car crash, for example. Without emergency treatment, a ruptured spleen can cause life-threatening internal bleeding.
Though some ruptured spleens require emergency surgery, some people with ruptured spleens can be treated with several days of hospital care.
April 10, 2013
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- AskMayoExpert. What should be done before splenectomy? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
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