When you think of car crash injuries, the first thing that comes to mind is likely what happens to your head or spine. You might think of broken bones or injuries to the skin, but it's actually internal injuries that are more likely to be damaging to you overall.
These injuries are often hidden immediately following a crash because of the adrenaline racing through your body. That's one good reason that you need to make sure to see a doctor if you're in a crash. Another thing to consider is that these injuries may worsen over time, so you have to keep an eye on them, even if you have been to a doctor for an exam.
Internal injuries: The risk to patients
One of the biggest risks after a crash comes from internal injuries. The most common injuries are those that take place due to where the seat belt hits. For example, if the lap belt does not rest on your pelvis, there's a higher chance of it impacting the organs in that region. That can lead to internal bleeding, lacerations and other serious complications.
Internal injuries are also caused by force itself. For instance, if your lungs are inflated when you get in a crash, there is a potential for one to burst or rupture. This could make it difficult to breathe and make an otherwise challenging situation life-threatening instead.
How is internal bleeding diagnosed?
Internal bleeding is diagnosed through careful exams. The physical examination may require a medical provider to press on regions of the torso to check for pain or inflammation. If there is bruising or bruising that spreads, it may indicate internal bleeding and give the medical provider a good idea of where to start checking for injuries.
Tests also include those to identify low red blood cell counts and endoscopies or colonoscopies. These, along with imaging tests, give medical professionals a way to identify injuries and get a better idea of the damage done inside your body.
A CT scan is the most common imaging test used to identify bleeding in the brain, whereas an ultrasound is able to identify blood in the abdomen.
Internal bleeding is a serious threat to anyone in a crash, so it's vital to head to the hospital even if you feel fine at the moment. Your health could deteriorate rapidly if you don't identify this dangerous condition right away.