Most people immediately start checking themselves and their passengers for injuries after a car crash. Making sure everyone can move and that no one is in extreme pain is a top priority.
Severe fractures, spinal cord injuries and other traumatic injuries are often obvious at the scene of the crash. You will usually know if you need to call for an ambulance. What you may not realize is that two of the more common and severe injuries that people suffer in car crashes may not have any immediate symptoms.
Internal bleeding puts your life at risk
Your safety restraints, the airbag, the steering wheel or even the seat in front of you could cause blunt force trauma to your abdomen in a car crash. A little bit of bruising may not be cause for concern if it is topical. However, bleeding or bruising internally is a much more serious issue.
Internal bleeding in the abdominal cavity could be easy to ignore at the scene of a crash. Only after the blood loss becomes extreme or the pooled blood starts to discolor or distort the body do people recognize the warning signs. Tenderness, inflammation or deep abdominal pain after a crash could all be warning signs of internal bleeding.
Brain injuries could alter the course of your life
Like internal bleeding, traumatic brain injuries often continue getting worse after a car crash. People may not notice any symptoms because the physiological response to the crash masks their pain.
They may also not initially have a severe enough injury to produce noteworthy symptoms. Only after the bleeding continues to put pressure on their brain will they notice nausea, changes in mood, sleep disruptions, balance issues or cognitive changes.
Understanding that some of the worst injuries can be invisible can motivate you to see a physician for a medical exam after a car crash to check for these catastrophic injuries before it is too late.