After surviving a car accident, from a fender bender to a significant collision that leaves your vehicle totaled, it's crucial to assess any injuries you might have incurred. Some individuals emerge virtually unscathed, bearing only minor bruises, while others initially feel fine only to later discover severe conditions like internal bleeding, which can be life-threatening if left untreated.

Internal bleeding often goes unnoticed due to its hidden nature. While external injuries are readily apparent, internal bleeding can be elusive, manifesting symptoms that might be confused with other ailments. It's vital to approach your post-accident medical evaluation and treatment with caution, ensuring thorough communication with healthcare providers. Continued medical follow-ups are essential to exclude the possibility of car accident-related injuries causing internal bleeding.

If you have been involved in a car accident, it is very important that you receive medical treatment as soon as possible, as well as consult with a car accident attorney who can assist you further.

What Are the Warning Signs and Symptoms of Internal Bleeding?

If you're experiencing internal bleeding, you might notice various symptoms, which can be common across different types of internal bleeding. This article outlines those symptoms and will provide more detailed signs for specific areas of internal bleeding as you read further.

  • Experiencing sudden dizziness, especially when moving from a sitting to standing position
  • Muscle weakness or fatigue
  • Fainting or losing consciousness (syncope)
  • Unusually low blood pressure if it is not typical for you
  • New or sudden issues with your vision
  • Numbness or tingling in your fingers or toes
  • Weakness that is noticeable on one side of your body
  • Sudden and intense headaches that persist even after taking pain medication
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • New issues with your digestive system, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea

Particularly critical to watch for, especially after an injury to the abdomen, is the presence of blood in your stool or vomit. This can appear as bright red blood or may cause your stool or vomit to appear black. Additionally, if you've suffered an abdominal injury, you might notice bruising on your stomach or around your belly button. Should you encounter these signs, it's crucial to seek immediate medical attention. These symptoms could indicate gastrointestinal bleeding, a particularly severe form of internal bleeding.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Shock?

Monitoring for shock due to internal bleeding is crucial. Shock, a grave and urgent medical state, arises from reduced circulation of blood within the body. With internal bleeding, shock can occur when bleeding starts suddenly and escalates rapidly. The symptoms characterizing shock include:

  • An abrupt drop in blood pressure
  • Problems with urination, urinating less frequently or not at all
  • Abrupt behavioral shifts, such as severe anxiety
  • Dilated pupils
  • Skin that is cool to the touch, clammy, or appears pale or grayish, a bluish tint to the lips or fingernails
  • Accelerated heart rate and breathing
  • Loss of consciousness

During shock, your organs fail to get the oxygen they need to operate correctly. Prolonged shock can lead to organ damage or even failure, potentially resulting in death.

Should you think you're experiencing shock, it's imperative to dial your local emergency services right away. While waiting for help, you can perform first aid measures on yourself, or ideally, get assistance from someone with first aid training.

What Are the Forms of Internal Bleeding?

Depending on the site of impact during a car accident (or any other event causing injury), internal bleeding can affect various organs throughout your body, leading to symptoms associated with internal bleeding.

Bleeding in the Brain

Internal bleeding within the brain can lead to what is known as a traumatic brain injury (TBI), a grave condition that can affect various aspects of your life if not promptly addressed. Immediate medical attention is crucial upon the emergence of any symptoms indicative of a TBI. Such injuries can result in cognitive impairments, sensory processing issues, significant changes in behavior and mental health, and severe outcomes like paralysis or coma. It's particularly vital to be vigilant for brain internal bleeding symptoms if you've suffered any head impacts during a car accident. Symptoms range from mild to severe and may include:

  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Sudden fatigue or lethargy
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Difficulty with memory, attention or focus

In more extreme instances, internal bleeding in the brain might manifest as seizures, pupil dilation, unclear speech, physical weakness, a sensation of tingling or numbness in extremities, and heightened irritability.

Gastrointestinal Internal Bleeding

Experiencing a blunt force impact to your chest or abdomen in a car crash may lead to internal bleeding within those regions. This condition, known as gastrointestinal bleeding, is an injury to the digestive system that varies in intensity. Internal bleeding in the gastrointestinal area can present itself in two main forms: overt symptoms, which are clearly noticeable, such as dark or tar-like stools; visible blood in stools or vomit (with vomit sometimes appearing brown and similar to coffee grounds); and instances of rectal bleeding.

Occult symptoms of internal bleeding are less obvious and harder to directly associate with the condition. These can manifest as dizziness, difficulty breathing, sudden fainting, and abdominal or chest pain.

Neglecting to address potential internal bleeding injuries promptly can lead to severe consequences, such as shock, anemia, or, in extreme cases, death.

Internal Bleeding in Muscles or Joints

At times, injury to your limbs or muscles from trauma doesn't result in external wounds like cuts or bruises but leads to internal bleeding. This can also occur within a joint or affect the tendons and connective tissues that support your skeletal structure. Symptoms of internal bleeding in such areas might manifest as pain within the joints or muscles, or you might notice a reduced ability to move the impacted region as freely as before.

What Are the Main Causes of Internal Bleeding?

Naturally, car accidents and related injuries play a major role in causing internal bleeding issues. Blunt abdominal trauma, often a result of vehicular accidents, can also arise from high falls, sports mishaps, bicycle crashes, and industrial incidents.

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are another major concern, with over a quarter of TBI-related hospitalizations annually attributed to vehicle collisions. Such injuries can impact anyone involved in car accidents, including drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians.

Additionally, internal bleeding can be triggered or worsened by existing health conditions or vulnerabilities that are aggravated by the trauma from a car accident.

What Are the Risk Factors That Relate Specifically to Internal Bleeding?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that each year, car accidents lead to over two million emergency room visits in the United States, based on its collection of data on deaths and injuries. Interestingly, women are at a higher risk, being up to 73% more susceptible to injuries from car accidents compared to men.

Specific risk factors increase the likelihood of internal bleeding. Individuals with conditions that slow blood clotting or those on certain medications, like blood thinners, including aspirin, face a higher risk of internal bleeding and potential stomach lining damage.

In the event of a car accident, any trauma experienced, no matter its intensity, can cause internal bleeding. This type of injury can occur even without breaking the skin. The chances of sustaining internal bleeding escalate with the force of the crash; factors like higher speed, heavier vehicles, and the extent of impact on your car significantly affect this risk.

How Is Internal Bleeding Diagnosed?

Given that the signs of internal bleeding might not always be immediately visible, it's crucial to get medical help swiftly after any car accident involving blunt force trauma to your body.

Diagnosing internal bleeding typically involves various diagnostic procedures, including imaging tests, a comprehensive physical examination, and several specific tests. The nature of your internal bleeding may dictate the imaging required; an x-ray might suffice for some injuries, while more concealed injuries might necessitate a computed tomography (CT) scan. Angiography is another imaging technique that allows for a detailed inspection of each blood vessel.

Additional tests are available to pinpoint the location of the bleeding within your body and assess how severe it is.

What Preventive Measures Can Be Taken To Protect Myself and My Family?

Wearing a seatbelt in a vehicle is not merely for appearances; it's critically important for safety. In fact, not wearing a seatbelt can almost double the likelihood of fatal outcomes in car crashes compared to buckling up.

Additionally, choosing a vehicle with a high safety rating for injury prevention is a vital preventive strategy. It's important to note that differences in test dummies used in vehicle safety evaluations may result in women being at greater risk of injury than men, even in vehicles rated as "good" for safety.

How Is Internal Bleeding Treated?

At times, minor internal bleeding may resolve on its own, posing no significant health risk. However, more severe bleeding requires comprehensive medical intervention. The initial step for your healthcare provider is to identify and stop the source of the bleeding, a crucial action before any additional treatments can be administered.

Once the bleeding is under control, your doctor will devise a tailored treatment plan based on the injury's cause, the affected organ, and your overall health condition. The focus will be on stabilizing your condition and ensuring proper wound healing.

Rest is a universal recommendation in the treatment process, crucial for facilitating your body's healing process, minimizing the risk of complications, and reducing inflammation to prevent the reopening of the wound.

Following the initial healing phase, you might require rehabilitative therapies such as occupational, physical, or speech therapy, depending on the nature of your injury. These therapies aim to restore your pre-injury level of functioning and quality of life.

If You Have Been Involved in a Car Accident, Personal Injury Attorney Brandon J. Broderick Is Available To Assist You

Brandon J. Broderick has been advocating for the rights of injured individuals for decades. Your first step after any accident should be to seek medical treatment. It is very important that you do this in order to ensure that you have no serious injuries that may not be visible but are internal. It is also important to document these injuries in case you have to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for your losses.

Contact us today to arrange a free consultation. We look forward to assisting you.

Posted by: Brandon J. Bro…
Date: Thu, 05/16/2024 - 03:50

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