Recognizing symptoms of internal bleeding

by Paula A. Wyatt | December 17, 2018 | Blog, Catastrophic Injuries | 0 comments

Recognizing symptoms of internal bleeding Accidents happen unexpectedly and sometimes without you even realizing what is going on. Suddenly, a reckless driver plows into your car, a bicyclist strikes you as you stand on the sidewalk, or a slick floor causes you to slip and tumble down the stairs in a Texas office building. Any of these and other events can leave you with catastrophic injuries. However, you may not recognize right away how badly you are hurt. One type of injury that is notorious for delayed symptoms is internal bleeding after trauma. If you were recently in an accident of some kind, you might want to be alert for the symptoms that your injuries are worse than you imagine.

Medical Attention Is Critical

While it may be obvious that you need medical attention if an object penetrates your body, internal bleeding caused by blunt force trauma may be more difficult to identify. With blunt force trauma, your blood vessels may become damaged, releasing blood into your body cavities. This is why it is essential to seek medical attention if you are in a car accident or fall so doctors can evaluate your condition and address any internal injuries quickly.

Internal Bleeding Due to Trauma

Two primary types of trauma may cause internal bleeding:
  • Blunt trauma. This type of trauma occurs when an area of the body collides with a moving object, usually at high speed. A good example is a physical attack on a person by an attacker using a dull object that does not cause any penetrating wounds, but the force causes shearing. Other examples are auto accidents and falling, which can also cause internal bleeding.
  • Penetrating trauma. This is a trauma that occurs when a foreign object penetrates the body, causing a puncture in one or more blood vessels. Common causes of these types of injuries include gunshot wounds, physical attacks with a sharp object such as a knife, or falling on a sharp object.
The human body is fragile, and every organ or blood vessel can easily sustain damage by trauma and cause internal bleeding. Even a small and seemingly innocuous injury can result in severe internal bleeding, depending on which part of the body is affected. Internal bleeding can lead to shock, which means in medical terms that the injured person ceases to have enough blood circulating through their body. The most common and more serious sources of internal bleeding caused by trauma include:
  • Head trauma that leads to hemorrhaging under the skull
  • Bleeding in the area around the lungs
  • Bleeding in the area around the heart
  • Tears on the large blood vessels near the center of the body
  • Damage from blunt-force trauma to the abdomen and causes injuries to organs like the liver or spleen lacerations or perforation of other organs
Internal bleeding can occur anywhere in the body, but the most dangerous areas are in the head, around the heart and lungs, and within the abdomen. Some symptoms that you may be bleeding internally include:
  • Pain in the area where the injury occurred
  • Swelling and tightness around the injury
  • A large, purple bruise indicating blood collecting in the skin
  • Dizziness and loss of consciousness from blood loss
  • Tender, bruised, swollen, or hard areas of the body
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Skin that feels moist or cool
  • Coughing up or vomiting blood
  • Persistent thirstiness
  • Sudden change in mental state such that the injured person shows signs of confusion, faint, or unconsciousness
A person who suffers injuries to the head may also experience seizures. The internal bleeding may happen quickly or slowly, depending on the severity of the injury and the organs damaged from the injury. Sometimes, the injured person may not experience any symptoms of internal bleeding for hours, even days after the injury.

Your Recovery

Anytime you are in an accident, seeking medical attention should be your first priority. However, even a minor accident or ground-level fall may result in serious injuries. Left untreated, internal injuries may lead to a severe bleed, requiring surgery to repair. Facing the aftermath of an injury due to someone else’s negligence can be frustrating, especially if it results in a long hospital stay, surgical procedures, and an extended recovery. In addition to the medical expenses, you may have to take time off from work and face the high cost of long-term care. Seeking legal advice about your options is a wise move.

Internal Bleeding FAQs

Internal bleeding is a serious medical condition that requires immediate medical attention as soon as suspected symptoms arise. By its nature, internal bleeding is not visible externally, so you should always be aware and look out for symptoms after any physical trauma. Even more important, you need to know what to do if you notice symptoms of internal bleeding. The following are some brief answers to frequently asked questions regarding this type of injury.

1. What should I do if I suspect internal bleeding?

If you suspect internal bleeding by observing any of the symptoms described above, you should immediately seek medical help. Dial 911 or head directly to the nearest hospital where you can receive medical attention urgently to prevent severe or even fatal consequences. The sooner you seek medical help, the sooner you can receive the necessary treatment to stop the internal bleeding.

2. How do doctors diagnose internal bleeding?

Once you arrive at a hospital or medical facility, you might undergo a blood test, and a doctor will conduct x-rays and even an ultrasound if necessary. A CT scan may also happen to determine if there are any internal injuries. In extreme cases, a doctor may decide that an emergency surgical procedure is the best option to locate and stop the internal bleeding.

3. What causes internal bleeding?

Internal bleeding can happen due to a variety of things, but most commonly, internal bleeding stems from serious traumatic injuries. You can experience this complication after:
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Pedestrian or bicycle accidents
  • Falls
  • Getting hit by an object
  • Assaults

4. Should I call a lawyer if I needed treatment for internal bleeding?

The short answer is yes. If your accident and injuries happened due to the conduct of another person, you always want to have an attorney evaluate your legal options. Cases like this require an experienced personal injury lawyer to help guide you through the complicated and sometimes frustrating process of obtaining compensation for your injuries. To successfully file a claim against the person or company that caused the accident that, in turn, caused your internal bleeding, you will need to know both the law and procedures you must follow to successfully conclude your case with compensation that you will be happy or satisfied with. This is one of the reasons why having an experienced personal injury by your side is in your best interest.

5. How much is my case for internal bleeding worth?

It is not possible to answer the question without first knowing and understanding all the facts and circumstances surrounding your case. When you meet with a lawyer, they can calculate your losses, which can include medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. If you have internal injuries that resulted in bleeding, you may be in for a lengthy hospital stay. According to a government report, internal injuries cost more in treatment and care than most other forms of injuries. In some cases, some people who suffer internal injuries may need a lifetime of care. This means if your internal bleeding resulted from the negligence of another person or entity, you might deserve significant compensation. In Texas, you can seek compensation for different types of losses stemming from internal bleeding:
  • Economic damages are a monetary award to compensate you for the financial loss you suffered because of your internal bleeding. This monetary award may include compensation for things like past, current, or future medical expenses, lost income or wages, future lost earnings, plus any other out-of-pocket costs and expenses you paid or incurred as a result of your injury and internal bleeding.
  • Non-economic damages compensate you for the non-monetary loss or consequences you suffered because of your injury. A common non-economic damage is for pain and suffering, which is a subjective calculation. If you suffered permanent organ damage due to your internal bleeding, you can seek non-economic damages for the impact the impairment will have on the rest of your life.
  • Punitive damages are an award to you as punishment to the person or company responsible for your injury if the person or company’s conduct was grossly negligent or intentional.
Facing the aftermath of an injury due to someone else’s negligence can be frustrating, especially if it results in a long hospital stay, surgical procedures, and an extended recovery. In addition to the medical expenses, you may have to take time off from work and face the high cost of long-term care. Seeking legal advice about your options is a wise move.

Call A Personal Injury Lawyer For Help

If you or a loved one suffered an accidental injury or assault that caused internal bleeding, get the most compensation possible for your injuries. Contact a personal injury attorney today for your free consultation.


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