High School Football Player's Death Highlights Difficulty of Diagnosing Internal Injuries

Evan Murray died after his spleen was lacerated from abdominal trauma.

— -- The death of a 17-year-old football player has drawn attention to a rare type of injury that can be deadly.

Evan Murray died last Friday shortly after taking repeated tackles during a game. Autopsy findings released Monday revealed that the teenager had a massive intra-abdominal hemorrhage after his spleen was lacerated.

The Morris County Medical Examiner said in its findings that they believed Murray’s spleen was enlarged, making it more susceptible to injury.

Experts say that abdominal injuries can be hard to identify, especially in the heated moments of a close football game.

Briskin explained that in the moment if a player has an internal injury, such as a lacerated spleen, they may not realize anything is wrong.

“They present with abdominal discomfort or abdominal pain,” Briskin explained of patients with internal bleeding. “They may not realize it’s an issue.”

“You’re dependent on the athlete bringing it to your attention,” said Briskin, who said some athletes don’t notice a racing heart beat in the middle of a game. She said sometimes no one realizes something is seriously wrong until “the athlete collapses due to the blood loss.”

She also said if a teen has a significant abdominal hit, he or she should get checked out on the sidelines for extreme tenderness in the belly area.

ABC News' Megan Keneally contributed to this report.