When I did my residency training in Emergency Medicine and in the first few years as an attending, we regularly performed diagnostic peritoneal lavages in patients with stab wounds injuries to the abdomen. Patients also routinely went to the operating room for exploration.
Now with the evolution of CT imaging technology and more clinical studies, there is now a role for a less invasive management approach. These are the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST) guidelines.
PV Card: Penetrating Abdominal Trauma
Adapted from 
Go to ALiEM (PV) Cards for more resources.
- Como JJ, Bokhari F, Chiu WC, et al. Practice Management Guidelines for Selective Nonoperative Management of Penetrating Abdominal Trauma. The Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection, and Critical Care. 2010;68(3):721-733. doi: 10.1097/ta.0b013e3181cf7d07
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