As its name suggests, internal bleeding is bleeding which occurs within the body. The injury can be very serious and will certainly require immediate medical attention. Oftentimes, the cause of internal bleeding will be obvious; likely a major trauma. However, internal bleeding can occasionally occur as the result of a smaller trauma. In rarer cases this injury takes many hours, or even days, to become apparent.
Causes of Internal Bleeding
There are in fact many causes of internal bleeding, many of which can occur during a car accident, motorcycle accident, or truck accident in Pennsylvania.
Blunt Force Trauma
In the case of a car accident or fall down accident, a blunt force trauma could occur, the impact of which could compress the internal organs and damage them. If traumatic compression happens, it could cause the organ to bleed within itself. More severe injuries could cause the organ lining to tear and the internal bleeding to spill out, for example, into the abdominal cavity.
We’ve actually written about acceleration/deceleration injury in relation to whiplash injuries, here. When it leads to internal bleeding, however, this injury often manifests itself as a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). A sudden, jarring stop, as can occur during the moments of impact in a car accident, can cause the brain to jostle around inside the skull. This can case the brain to crash into the wall of the skull and tear veins, triggering internal bleeding. It is important to note that any bleeding in the skull whatsoever is critical as the smallest amount of blood can create pressure, hindering brain function.
Occasionally internal bleeding can occur as a side effect of medication use. This could happen due to a doctor prescribing the wrong drug / wrong dosage of a drug. It could also happen if a person simply misuses an over-the-counter drug. Internal bleeding related to medication use also can happen by mixing non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with alcohol.
Dangers Associated with Internal Bleeding
Internal bleeding can lead to a number of health complications, among which are hemorrhagic shock, organ dysfunction or organ failure, brain damage, or even death.
Symptoms of Internal Bleeding
Depending on the injury and its severity, the symptoms of internal bleeding are varied. However, the following are known symptoms of an internal bleeding injury:
Pain in the abdomen / swelling of the abdomen
Dizziness, feeling light-headed
If soft tissues absorb the internal bleeding, the result can be the formation of a purple area on the skin.
Losing consciousness or experiencing headaches
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms following an accident in Pennsylvania you should considering seeking an immediate medical evaluation.
Treatment of Internal Bleeding
Treatment measures for internal bleeding depend largely on the individual injury. A doctor prepping to treat an internal bleeding injury will have to answer the following questions, and more:
In what part of the body is the internal bleeding occurring?
What caused the injury? Is the cause known?
Is the patient in a stable condition?
How long has the bleeding been happening?
Sometimes internal bleeding will cease without interference. However, persistent internal bleeding may require surgery. There are a number of surgeries to address this problem, all of which depend on the location and severity of the bleeding.
Stuart A. Carpey, who has been practicing as an attorney since 1987, focuses his practice on complex civil litigation which includes representing injured individuals in a vast array of personal injury cases.