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The quiet danger of internal bleeding

The crumpled fender, the leaking fluids and the shattered windshield all told the story of your recent traffic accident. In fact, even without a mechanic's training, you may be able to see that the car is beyond repair or that, at the very least, it will take time and money to get it back on the road.

Unlike the damage to your car after an accident, the injuries you suffered may not be visible. You may have a bump on the head, scratches and bruises. You may even have the suspicion of a broken bone. However, even if you think your injuries are only minor, it would behoove you to have a medical exam as soon as possible.

Internal damage

The injuries you don't see may be the ones most dangerous. The impact of a car accident can cause trauma to your abdomen that you may not realize until it is too late. Damage to your organs, most commonly the spleen or liver, can cause blood to seep into the cavities of your body. This blood loss may be undetectable at first, creating a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. Some of the symptoms of internal bleeding include the following:

  • Bruising around your navel
  • Pain in your abdomen or chest
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Blood coming from unusual areas, such as your mouth, rectum or in your stool or urine

As you lose blood, your body will become anemic, causing symptoms such as extreme fatigue, shortness of breath and weakness. Your blood pressure may drop, causing you to feel dizzy or to faint after standing.

Treatment for an internal injury

If you experience any of these symptoms following an automobile accident, time is of the essence. Diagnosing an internal injury often requires blood work, CT scans, angiography and other tests to locate and treat the source of the bleeding. Depending on the severity of the injury, doctors may perform surgery to repair the damage and remove the blood from your body. You may need a lengthy hospital stay, medication and therapy for your complete recovery.

Of course, none of this comes without a price tag, and you may feel especially frustrated if your internal injury resulted through no fault of your own. If you are suffering physically and financially following an accident caused by someone else's negligence, you have every right to seek legal guidance to learn about your options.

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