Simms has spleen removed
Quarterback Chris Simms had his spleen removed in emergency surgery after Sunday's 26-24 loss to the Carolina Panthers, Simms' mother Diana has told the St. Petersburg Times. She said her son's spleen apparently was ruptured early in Sunday's game.
The Bucs say Simms is in stable condition.
It is thought the injury occurred in the second quarter. Simms took several hard hits during the game -- on several pass attempts and a touchdown run -- and he left the game once in the third quarter, reportedly to be treated for dehydration. The quarterback went down on a knee at the end of a Bucs possession, but he walked to the locker room under his own power. But he returned to help the Bucs take the lead in the fourth quarter.
After the game, he also left the field under his own power.
Simms was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa. There, he underwent the emergency surgery.
Team physician Dr. Joseph Diaco released this statement Sunday night: "Chris Simms suffered an injury to his spleen during today's game and was taken to the hospital. He underwent a splenectomy (removal of the spleen) this evening and is in stable condition. Chris is doing well and we anticipate a full recovery."
At his postgame press conference, Jon Gruden had said of Simms:
"He got hit early and he hurt his ribs. We don’t know the extent of that, but he played hard today. He played tough and he showed a lot of grit. He really did. It is a credit to him. He made some big plays when we needed him. We tried a lot of things today — flea flickers and going for it on fourth down, and he responded to a lot of different scenarios. He is hurting right now, there is no question. He left the game. I don’t know that it was because of his ribs, dehydration or both. He is a very sore and tired man right now, and I am proud of how he hung in there against a very good run defense."
Doctors say a ruptured spleen is the most common serious abdominal injury caused by blunt trauma.
A ruptured spleen is a serious injury because it can cause patients to bleed internally. If it is not corrected, it can be fatal.
Doctors say that the severity of the injury is graded on a four-point scale, depending on how badly the organ has been bruised or torn. Sometimes the damage to the spleen and its blood vessels is so severe that the organ needs to be removed in order to control internal bleeding.
But in cases that are not as severe, treatment often becomes a judgment call. Whether patients are taken to surgery for a particular spleen injury often comes down to personal preferences of the surgeons or the particular policy of the hospital where the patient is treated.