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How Internal Organs Can Be Damaged In A Car Crash

On Behalf of | Nov 25, 2017 | Library, Traffic Accidents

When a car travelling at highway speeds is forced to a sudden stop in a
collision, the impact forces on the occupants are tremendous. Drivers
and passengers who are not wearing seatbelts can be thrown into the dash,
windshield, steering wheel, front seats, or even out of the vehicle. Even
occupants wearing seat belts can be injured as the seatbelt forcefully
restrains them. These types of blunt force trauma can cause a variety
of serious injuries, including damage to internal organs.

Organs That Are Commonly Damaged in Crashes

Internal organs can suffer impact injuries due to the tremendous force
that is placed on the body in a crash and they can also suffer penetrating
injuries, caused by objects cutting through the flesh and puncturing the
organs. Whether someone suffers an impact injury or a penetrating injury,
the organs that are most frequently damaged in
car crashes include the following:

  • Spleen. The spleen is a commonly injured organ due to its position in the abdomen—under
    the left rib cage near the stomach. When someone suffers a blow to the
    abdomen, the spleen may be perforated or ruptured, leading to a large
    amount of internal bleeding. While treatment and recovery depend on the
    severity of the injury, sometimes a damaged spleen needs to be removed.
    Although people can live without their spleens, the lack of a spleen can
    compromise the immune system and put someone at risk for life-threatening
  • Liver. The liver is located on the right side of the belly and is actually the
    body’s largest internal organ. It is responsible for making proteins
    necessary for blood clotting, producing chemicals necessary for digestion,
    metabolizing toxins, and producing bile among other things. Because it
    has multiple functions and is an essential organ that is required for
    the body to function properly, liver damage can be quite serious. If the
    liver is damaged, pain in the upper right region of the abdomen may be
    a symptom. Other signs of liver damage can include a distended abdomen,
    significant blood loss, and a weak pulse. Although most liver injuries
    are minor and can be treated non-invasively, some significant liver injuries
    require surgery and some may even lead to death if an excessive amount
    of blood is lost.
  • Kidneys. The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that sit on each side of the spine,
    just below the ribs. They filter blood to produce urine and waste. Due
    to the location of the kidneys, damage to these organs can occur when
    someone’s mid-to-low back is injured in a crash. A sign of kidney
    damage is blood in the urine. If the kidneys are seriously damaged or
    torn, a kidney transplant and the need for dialysis may be required. Even
    if surgery isn’t required, complications can still occur that include
    recurrent infections, urine leakage, and blood pressure issues. It is
    important to note that kidney damage is sometimes not apparent right away
    and delayed bleeding can occur, which can be life-threatening.
  • Although some injuries to internal organs are very apparent, sometimes
    symptoms aren’t visible and may be delayed. This is why internal
    organ injuries are sometimes referred to as ‘hidden’ injuries
    and symptoms may not develop for hours or days after a crash. For this
    reason, it is always best to seek a thorough medical evaluation after
    being involved in an auto accident, especially if you have any amount
    of pain, dizziness, and/or weakness.

    If you or a loved one suffered internal injuries after a motor vehicle
    accident that was not your fault, please give our office a call for a
    free consultation.