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Pancreatic Trauma

Pancreatic Trauma is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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  • Direct epigastric blow compressing pancreas against vertebral column resulting in blunt trauma
  • Injury to pancreas from penetrating object

Pediatric Considerations
  • Trauma affects proportionately larger areas, leading to multisystem injuries.
  • Children have less protective muscle and SC tissue.
  • Malpositioned seat belts and child abuse need to be considered in small children.
  • Children will less often present with hypotension.


  • Penetrating trauma: Most common mechanism
  • Blunt trauma: Deep location of pancreas requires significant force to cause injury:
    • Steering wheel, seat belts, or bicycle handlebars to abdomen
    • In children, evaluate for nonaccidental trauma

Commonly Associated Conditions

90% of pancreatic injuries associated with injuries to adjacent structures:
  • Liver, stomach
  • Major arteries and veins
  • Spleen, kidney
  • Duodenum, colon, small bowel
  • Common bile duct, gallbladder
  • Spine: Chance fracture

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Rosen, Peter, et al., editors. "Pancreatic Trauma." 5-Minute Emergency Consult, 5th ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016. Emergency Central, emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307163/all/Pancreatic_Trauma.
Pancreatic Trauma. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, et al, eds. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. 5th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307163/all/Pancreatic_Trauma. Accessed April 25, 2019.
Pancreatic Trauma. (2016). In Rosen, P., Shayne, P., Barkin, A. Z., Wolfe, R. E., Hayden, S. R., Barkin, R. M., & Schaider, J. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Available from https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307163/all/Pancreatic_Trauma
Pancreatic Trauma [Internet]. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, Wolfe RE, Hayden SR, Barkin RM, Schaider JJ, editors. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. [cited 2019 April 25]. Available from: https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307163/all/Pancreatic_Trauma.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Pancreatic Trauma ID - 307163 ED - Rosen,Peter, ED - Shayne,Philip, ED - Barkin,Adam Z, ED - Wolfe,Richard E, ED - Hayden,Stephen R, ED - Barkin,Roger M, ED - Schaider,Jeffrey J, BT - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307163/all/Pancreatic_Trauma PB - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ET - 5 DB - Emergency Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -