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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 Bleeding After a Car Accident

The injuries you don't see may be the ones that are 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. Internal bleeding oftentimes cannot be felt 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.

Internal Bleeding Can Be Fatal

Internal bleeding is a leading cause of trauma-related fatalities worldwide. If left untreated, severe internal injuries can lead to organ failure, seisures, coma, or even death. It is very important to identify and treat internal bleeding as early as possible to avoid potentially life-threatening complications.

How to Tell if You're Bleeding Internally

The safest way to determine if you're bleeding internally is to be examined by a doctor. A doctor will typically use lab tests and imaging tools to identify if you have an internal injury. The following symptoms can help you determine if you're suffering from an internal injury:

Signs of Internal Bleeding in the Head

  • Weakness or numbness on one side of your head
  • Tingling in the hands and feet
  • Severe, sudden migraines
  • Sudden changes in vision or hearing
  • Difficulty balancing or focusing
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding speech
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe lethargy

Signs of Internal Bleeding in the Chest or Abdomen

  • Abdominal or chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness when standing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bloody urine and tarry stool
  • Bleeding from other areas of the body, such as the nose, ears, mouth, or anus

Signs of Internal Bleeding in Muscles and Joints

  • Joint pain
  • Joint swelling
  • Limited range of motion

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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