Internal Injury

Internal injuries, especially those involving the liver, spleen, stomach, colon, pancreas and blood vessels can be caused by motor vehicle accidents, blunt trauma or penetrating injuries. For, example, the blunt, shearing force of striking the steer wheel in a motor vehicle accident lead to a significant amount of traumatic internal injuries. Other causes for traumatic internal, abdominal injury includes falls, striking injuries to the abdomen and penetrating wounds such as gunshots and stabbings.

The functions of the liver, blood storage and filtration, secretion of bile, breakdown of fats and regulation of blood volumes and clotting factors can all effected with injury to the liver. An accident victim with an injury to the liver may experience pain in the right upper abdominal region or upper abdomen area. Because the liver receives approximately one fifth of the blood pumped out of the heart, any bleeding injury to the liver can cause a significant blood loss from the liver. If this were to happen, the person's blood pressure might fall, their abdomen may distend as it is filling with blood. The persons pulse can become weak and thready. Occasionally, if the liver injury is very small, the person may be admitted to the hospital for observation only. A major liver injury, may require immediate surgical intervention.

Blunt trauma to the abdomen can also result in injury to the spleen. The functions of the spleen, storing blood, freeing blood from wastes and organisms and storing hemoglobin, may all be distributed with an injury to the spleen. Because the spleen stores and maintains storage of blood, large amounts of blood can spill into the abdominal cavity after an injury to the spleen. A large volume of blood may be lost and the situation can become life threatening. Accident victims with an injury to the spleen may complain of left upper abdominal pain. Occasionally, this pain will radiate to the left shoulder. Due to blood loss, a person may also exhibit low blood pressures, weak pulse and possible bruising to the left upper abdominal area.

Injuries to the stomach are frequently caused by penetrating wounds or blunt force trauma. Frequently, injuries to the stomach occur with additional injuries to the pancreas or intestines. If there is injury to the stomach, the enzymes and acids that are secreted to assist with digestion leak into the abdominal cavity. This leakage of fluid can result in an infection. Injury to the stomach also interferes with the digestion of food. People with an injury to their stomach may complain of pain in the upper, mid abdominal area. Stomach injuries may also cause the person to have muscle guarding of the abdominal area, tenderness to touch, fast pulse and a low blood pressure.

Injuries to the pancreas often occur in conjunction with other abdominal injuries. Injury to the pancreas can have a high mortality rate that may be associated with a late diagnosis of the problem. Injuries to the pancreas alter its ability to perform its main functions of enzyme and insulin secretion. Accident victims with pancreatic trauma can complain of pain in the mid abdominal area or back. Abdominal guarding and low blood pressures may be present. Accident victims may have delayed symptoms of up to 12 hours after the initial injury, and making diagnosis difficult.

Injuries to the colon and bowels are most frequently because of blunt trauma, such striking the steering wheel in a motor vehicle accident. However, penetrating trauma also accounts for some injury to the colon. Injury to the colon disrupts the ability for the colon to assist with food breakdown, nutrient absorption and waste excretion. It is also possible for wastes and enzymes to leak from a damaged colon resulting in an infection of the abdominal area. Accident victims with injury to the colon may experience pain in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, muscle guarding or tenderness, absence of bowel sounds or shock.

Blunt trauma is a major cause for damage to the large blood vessels internally. This includes motor vehicle accidents and falls. The acceleration/deceleration injury involved causes a shearing action and results in tears of the large blood vessels. Injury to these vessels (aorta, femoral and iliac vessels) results in a very large amount of blood loss. Accident victims with injury to the large vessels may complain of abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. On examination, an accident victims may have an increase in the size of their abdomen as it is filling with blood, abdominal tenderness, bruising in the abdomen, and/or falling blood pressure with shock. Accident victims may require immediate surgical intervention.

Accident victims with internal injury are at greater risk for bleeding and death. Sometimes these injuries may go undetected due to their vague symptoms and the fact that one cannot visualize the injuries as they could a cut to the skin.

Always get prompt medical attention for yourself or anyone suffering an accident or suspected internal injury. If you, a friend, or loved one have wrongfully injured in an accident, you should ask why, and take immediate steps to protect your or their legal interest. Consider the suggestions in our accident guide, and call us immediately. We are here to help. At Larry King Law, we recognize the unique issues pertaining accident victims. You can call us at 757-209-2265 or contract us with this sites Contact Form, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. We are committed to doing the extra things it takes to help our clients.

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