You cannot see what is going on inside your body, and internal bleeding does not always have symptoms immediately, so it can be hard to detect that you are bleeding internally after a car accident. As the hours tick by, you are losing blood and possibly sustaining permanent damage, as in the situation of a brain bleed.
If you have been in a significant accident, get a medical evaluation immediately, then talk with an Atlanta car accident lawyer. At S. Burke Law, we can handle your injury claim while you focus on getting better.
An Overview of Internal Bleeding
When you bleed inside your body, it means that an organ or blood vessel sustained damage. Blood escapes and pools internally, silently hurting your tissues and organs. With every moment that goes by, your risk of going into shock from blood loss increases. Many people do not realize they have this ticking time bomb until they are in critical condition.
You can experience internal bleeding anywhere throughout the body. Some of the more common places for internal bleeding after a car accident include:
- Brain, as in a subdural hematoma or brain bleed
- Abdomen, such as a ruptured spleen or another damaged organ
- Chest, for example, when a fractured rib punctures a lung
- Eye, from a blow to the face or head
How to Recognize Internal Bleeding
You should not wait until you develop signs that you might be bleeding internally. If you have been in a severe car accident, get a medical evaluation immediately. Some people never have symptoms of internal bleeding before they pass away.
The indications of internal bleeding after an Atlanta car accident can vary widely depending on where the injury is. A brain bleed can feel entirely different from an abdominal rupture.
Even with professional medical attention, the trauma team might not detect internal bleeding. If you develop any of these signs after a violent collision, get to an emergency room right away:
- Loss of vision
- Confusion or altered cognitive function
- Inflammation or swelling
- Slurred speech
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Shortness of breath
- Blood in the urine, stool, or vomit
- Decreased range of motion
What Happens During the Diagnostic Process
One of the first things the trauma team at the emergency room will likely do when they suspect internal bleeding is to draw your blood. Significant blood loss can decrease your red blood cell count.
You might then get sent to the radiology department for x-rays, CAT scans, MRIs, or ultrasound testing. Sometimes the medical personnel has to use fiber optic scopes, using tiny cameras in tubes that they insert in your body. The doctors have to locate the source of the bleeding before they can repair it.
Fixing internal bleeding usually requires emergency surgery to repair the organ or blood vessel that ruptured. Do not be surprised if you have to spend some time in the intensive care unit (ICU) or even in a medically-induced coma during the early stages of recuperation. The hospital will need to monitor you closely for complications.
Complications of Internal Bleeding
The consequences of internal bleeding after an Atlanta car accident will depend on the location and severity of the injury. Here are some examples:
- A ruptured spleen can cause you to bleed into your abdominal cavity. The Mayo Clinic says that this bleeding can be life-threatening.
- A head injury can cause blood to collect inside the skull in the form of an intracranial hematoma. As the amount of blood increases within the confined space, the pressure on the brain increases. You can lose consciousness and sustain permanent brain damage if the doctors do not drain the blood immediately.
- A violent jolt or a foreign object penetrating the trunk of the body can cause bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. Depending on the level of bleeding, you could go into shock, have anemia, or die from the internal bleeding, according to the Mayo Clinic.
- Rib fractures can puncture or damage the lungs, heart, or other internal organs. You might need emergency surgery to repair the damaged organs and stop the internal bleeding. Also, the doctor will need to align your ribs so that they heal correctly.
Getting Compensation for Your Losses
Because internal bleeding after an Atlanta car accident can be a medical crisis, patients often need emergency treatment, multiple diagnostic procedures, surgery, and time in the ICU. The medical bills can be astronomical.
The person who caused the Atlanta car accident that injured you should bear financial responsibility for your losses. In addition to your medical bills, we can seek money damages for your lost wages, pain and suffering, and the long-term changes to your life from the injuries.