It is important to understand the signs and symptoms of internal bleeding, especially after an accident, surgery, or other traumas that can lead to this dangerous condition. If you are aware of the signs of internal bleeding, you can get help sooner, which drastically improves the chances a doctor will be able to repair the damage. Learning about the symptoms of internal bleeding can save your life or the life of a loved one.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Internal Bleeding
There are numerous signs of internal bleeding, some of which can be observed by other people, such as bruising, and some which are reported by the patient, such as pain or tenderness. Some of the most common signs and symptoms include:
- swelling or distention
- numbness or tingling
- drop in blood pressure
- fainting or passing out (doctors refer to this as “syncope”)
- sudden changes in vision
- severe pain anywhere in the body
- shortness of breath
One of the most critical signs of internal bleeding is a drop in blood pressure. Think of a hose: if there is a break in the line, water will leak out, and the water pressure will drop accordingly. Internal bleeding can cause drops in blood pressure that might be sudden or gradual, depending on the rate you are losing blood. Incremental reductions in blood pressure can be incredibly dangerous. By the time you begin showing symptoms of low blood pressure, you might already have lost a dangerous amount of blood. This risk makes it vital that injury victims seek medical attention after an accident, even if they do not think they have been injured. Medical staff can monitor your blood pressure to check for bleeding and other internal injuries that may not be outwardly visible.
Internal Bleeding and Brain Injuries
Internal bleeding can occur in many different parts of the body. One of the most dangerous is the brain. Because the brain controls the most basic physiological processes, such as breathing, even a slight amount of bleeding can result in dangerous medical conditions. Know the symptoms of bleeding in the brain:
- loss of consciousness
- severe headache
- numbness or tingling (especially in the extremities)
- changes in hearing or vision
- difficulty speaking or understanding others’ speech
- loss of coordination
- changes in alertness (such as becoming lethargic)
The sooner you have these injuries treated by a medical professional, the better your medical outcome is likely to be. This is why it is extremely important to recognize the early signs of brain damage. Anyone who is involved in an accident should be closely monitored for these types of neurological symptoms. Even if you are not sure, err on the side of caution and let a doctor evaluate any signs or changes that arise. Early intervention can save lives.
Risk Factors for Internal Bleeding
Certain events make internal bleeding more likely to occur. Traumatic accidents such as car crashes are a significant risk factor, which is why injury victims must be monitored closely. Surgery is another risk factor for bleeding. Surgeons can cause damage to the body when they make internal repairs, so they must carefully monitor patients after surgery to ensure there is no continued bleeding. A surgeon who fails to do so could be guilty of medical malpractice if the patient suffers injuries or death from internal bleeding after surgery.
Certain medical conditions can increase a person’s chances of bleeding both internally and externally. Some patients with an increased risk of heart attack or stroke are prescribed blood thinners to reduce their risk of forming a blood clot. These medications also prevent blood from clotting when the patient bleeds, so these patients have a high risk of developing complications from internal bleeding. Other medications can increase the risk of internal bleeding as well. Be sure to let your doctor know about all medications you are taking when seeking medical treatment following an accident. Knowing what medications you are on helps a doctor understand what complications he or she should be watching out for. Chronic high blood pressure and hemophilia are also conditions that increase the risk of internal bleeding, so be sure to let your doctor know if you have a history of these diseases. Other bleeding disorders can also put you at risk and should also be disclosed.
Certain lifestyle factors can also increase your risk of internal bleeding. Drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and taking illegal drugs can all irritate the lining of your stomach. These and other gastrointestinal disorders can put you at risk of ulcers—a painful condition that can also increase your risk of internal bleeding. Be mindful of the symptoms of internal bleeding if you have any type of chronic condition involving the stomach or intestines. Gastrointestinal disorders are not the only condition that can put you at risk for internal bleeding. Give your doctor a complete medical history. This helps the doctor accurately evaluate your risk for experiencing complications from internal bleeding.
Can you recover compensation for internal bleeding?
If someone else’s negligence caused your injuries, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses, including those related to internal bleeding.
How much is my internal bleeding case worth?
Every case is different, so it’s impossible to discuss the value of an “average” case involving an accident that caused your internal bleeding. A South Carolina personal injury attorney familiar with personal injury litigation will be able to give you an estimate of the value of your claim after reviewing the facts of your case.
Do I need a lawyer for internal bleeding?
If you have been hurt in an accident caused by another person, it’s highly advisable to retain a personal injury attorney immediately.
An Experienced Charleston Personal Injury Lawyer
The attorneys at the David Aylor Law Offices have years of experience. We have handled a wide variety of accident cases, and we know the financial risks associated with your injuries. You don’t have to spend hours searching online for a “South Carolina injury lawyer near me.” Our firm has offices in Charleston, North Charleston, Walterboro, Myrtle Beach, and we serve the entire state of South Carolina. Injury victims throughout South Carolina have trusted our skilled legal team to protect their rights after an accident. We will fight hard for you, too. Call (843) 548-1572 to schedule your free consultation as soon as possible. The sooner you have an experienced South Carolina injury lawyer fighting on your side, the better protected your legal rights will be.
David Aylor is a Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Charleston, Walterboro, and Myrtle Beach, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 11 years. David Aylor believes in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.