Slip and fall accidents can cause a wide variety of injuries that range from mild to severe. While many of these injuries are easily identifiable, such as external bleeding, when someone suffers internal bleeding from a slip and fall it can all too often go unnoticed. While it may not be readily apparent, internal bleeding can lead to serious medical complications and even death.
The signs and symptoms of internal bleeding are wide ranging and can come from a variety of causes. Read on to learn more about the symptoms of internal bleeding after a slip and fall, and how to best diagnose and treat such injuries.
What Is Internal Bleeding?
Internal bleeding typically occurs in organs or cavities of the body. These cavities include the head, abdomen, or chest. Eyes and tissues that line the heart are other sites for potential internal bleeding. This type of bleeding is often not evident immediately as it is not visible, and a slip and fall victim may not know they are suffering internal bleeding for hours. The amount of bleeding will depend on how severe the injury is, the location of the injury, and how quickly treatment is administered.
What Causes Internal Bleeding After a Slip and Fall Accident?
Internal bleeding can occur due to a variety of traumatic causes, and can also arise from certain substances. The causes of internal bleeding include, but are not limited to:
- Broken bones
- Surgical procedures
- Alcohol abuse
- Blood thinners or other anti-coagulation/anti-platelet medications
Internal bleeding caused by a slip and fall is usually caused by trauma or broken bones. Anytime the body is struck by another object with force, internal bleeding can occur. This is often the result of trauma or compression of internal organs, or by broken bones.
Signs and Symptoms of Internal Bleeding
Anytime a slip and fall accident occurs that causes trauma, fractures, or broken bones, internal bleeding is a possibility. Even minor accidents can cause internal bleeding, so it’s important to be on the lookout for possible signs and symptoms. The signs and symptoms will differ depending on the location of the bleeding.
Internal Bleeding From Head Injuries
Intracranial bleeding that occurs after trauma to the head can cause pain, but not always. Other signs of internal bleeding from head trauma include:
- Altered mental states
- Stiff neck
- Slurred speech
- Loss of vision
Internal Bleeding in the Abdomen
Internal bleeding in the abdomen can be the result of compression on vital organs. Signs include:
- Vomiting bright red blood
- Vomit that looks like coffee grounds
- Black or tarry stool
- Shortness of breath
- Low blood pressure
- Abdomen is hard or rigid to the touch
- Bruising on the abdomen
Internal Bleeding Due to Muscle Injuries
Internal bleeding due to muscle injuries may cause:
- Difficulty in moving a joint
- Loss of sensation
- May be associated with broken bones in the shin or forearm
What Happens if Internal Bleeding Is Left Untreated?
The severity of damage caused by internal bleeding largely depends on the location of the bleed. Large amounts of blood collecting in certain areas of the body may take a long time to start causing issues, while even small amounts of blood in parts of the brain can rapidly cause severe symptoms or even death. Severe complications can include anemia, organ failure, paralysis, coma, brain injuries, and even death. Emergency surgery may be necessary to stop the bleeding before further damage such a stroke, or permanent damage to vital organs occurs.
Internal bleeding is almost always a medical emergency and needs to be diagnosed and treated by a trained physician. If you suspect internal bleeding after a slip and fall, you should immediately call 911 and receive a diagnosis from your physician, regardless of how long it has been since your accident. After receiving treatment, your next call should be to a skilled slip and fall lawyer who can help you hold those responsible for your accident accountable. Call the attorneys at Thistle Law today by dialing 215-568-6800, or fill out our contact form here.