You expect to feel aches and pains after an accident. Even when the injuries seem minor, some pain exists because of the impact. Do not take those pains lightly, especially if your torso and abdominal area hurt. That pain could signify an internal injury that could kill you if not treated properly and immediately. Going to the hospital after a significant impact might seem like more of an inconvenience than anything else, but it could save your life.
For example, abdominal pain could signify a ruptured spleen, which plays an important role in your ability to fight off infections and bacteria. Blood could fill up your abdomen (internal bleeding) and cause you irreparable harm if you live through it.
How does the spleen rupture?
A protective layer of tissue covers the spleen. In a car accident, an impact to your abdomen could tear that layer and cause blood to leak into your abdomen. Make no mistake; a ruptured spleen constitutes a medical emergency requiring immediate care. Even a small tear in the tissue could eventually cost you your life if left untreated. In most cases, the spleen suffers injury more than your other organs.
What symptoms might indicate a ruptured spleen?
You should not ignore the following symptoms after an accident because it might indicate a ruptured spleen:
- Abdominal pain ordinarily presents under the left side of the rib cage. The severity of your injury and the amount of internal bleeding dictate the location and severity of the pain.
- A rupture often causes irritation to the nerves in the left shoulder. The same nerves that go through the diaphragm also go through the shoulder.
In addition, a significant loss of blood into the abdomen causes your blood pressure to drop. The following signs might indicate internal bleeding from a ruptured spleen or other organ:
- Your vision could blur.
- You might experience confusion.
- You might become light-headed or faint.
- You might exhibit other signs of shock such as nausea, anxiety and paleness, along with restlessness.
If you exhibit any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention right away, especially for severe pain. After conducting a proper examination, a doctor will more than likely order one or more imaging tests to determine whether you suffer from a ruptured spleen. Depending on the severity of the damage, doctors might need to remove your spleen if repairing it fails to be an option.
What long-term effects could I suffer?
The long-term effects of a ruptured spleen depend on the severity of your condition. A removal of your spleen compromises your immune system since that organ plays a large role in fighting off infections. You could require numerous vaccinations to prevent certain health issues. Contracting a bacterial infection of any kind could mean a trip to the emergency room instead of your family doctor, depending on the circumstances. In addition, the length of your recovery depends on the severity of the rupture and other medical issues resulting from that injury.
You could incur significant financial losses due to a ruptured spleen. Even with health insurance, your medical costs could be substantial. In addition, you might lose income and incur other damages. If the accident that caused your injury was due to the negligence of another, you might consider talking to an attorney here in New York City that handles personal injury claims. He or she will explain your rights to you, conduct an investigation into the accident and your subsequent injuries, and advise you regarding how best to proceed.