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There are many different types of injuries that can occur in an auto accident. Some of them may seem minor while others will be life-threatening. It is important to know what to do in case you or someone else has sustained a serious injury, especially if there is no one around who knows how to help.
Scrapes and cuts
It is common for any type of accident to have wounded casualties. A minor scrape and cut do not need urgent medical attention except when it is large enough to cause shock. With any form of cut, the initial response is to inspect the wound for any piercing. If something is sticking out of the wound, never attempt to remove it as it may be acting as a tamponade, and removing it will result in a sudden gush of blood. Keep the wound clean and apply pressure to the bleeding using a clean cloth.
Simple fracture injury accidents are when bones get broken but not to the extent of causing open wounds. These fractures only require minimal adjustments and casting. When you assess that there is a simple fracture sustained, it is best to immobilize the area and elevate it to prevent swelling. Applying an ice pack will also reduce swelling and relieve pain.
When bones crack and result in an open wound, this is already considered a compound fracture and a different approach is needed. It’s very important for you to immobilize the area. Apply a splint if necessary and never attempt to realign the bones. Do not try to pull out any bones sticking nor push them back in. Try to stop the bleeding by applying the necessary pressure to the wound alone with the use of a clean cloth. Also, watch out for signs of shock which are paleness, confusion, and shallow breathing. Call for help urgently.
Neck injuries or Whiplash
Whiplash, also known as cervicalgia, is the most common injury sustained in collisions and it often leads to chronic neck pain. In fact, statistics show that whiplash injuries make up around 90% of all claims for personal injury compensation (PIC) related to vehicle accidents.
When you feel your neck hurting, do not try to further stretch it. Relax and try to keep it still until help arrives. This will prevent any further injury to your neck region which might be more severe such as spinal cord damage.
Soft Tissue Damage
Soft tissue damage occurs when the body’s connective tissue is injured. This type of injury in an auto accident is caused by extreme but blunt force to the limbs. This kind of injury can cause bleeding or bruising depending on where it is located. Simple bruising or torn ligaments will need to be rested and ice packed. They usually heal in a few days time and are not too serious. A follow-up X-ray may still be necessary to rule out any internal organ damage.
Internal bleeding results from very bad car accidents when the crash is extreme and the passenger has been tumbled inside the vehicle. This injury is not easy to spot because it is hidden. Usually, when you find large bruises on the torso, it is already a late sign. Keep in mind that the early signs of internal bleeding are paleness or bluish lips, cold and clammy skin, confusion, and shallow breathing. Seeing these signs should warn you to seek urgent medical attention. While waiting for help, place the victim on a flat surface and elevate the legs to allow blood to flow to their vital organs.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
In a car crash, any injuries to the head are a cause for concern and should not be taken lightly. Brain injuries progress rapidly and are difficult to treat once neglected. Suspect a brain injury when a person has either lost consciousness, has a severe headache, experiences nausea and vomiting, or becomes disoriented and confused. When this happens, seek urgent medical attention right away. It is also best to keep the victim sitting upright rather than lying down. This will prevent further swelling of the brain.
The unfortunate reality is that many of us will experience car accidents in our lifetime even the most careful of drivers. If you experience injuries after an auto accident, you may need to be treated by a chiropractor. The team at N8 Family Chiropractic has significant experience in treating injuries from car accidents.
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