Organ damage is of the most severe consequences of blunt trauma. While internal bleeding is often the result of an obvious wound, it can lack a visible source and take hours or days to manifest.
Internal bleeding is a medical emergency, as if you allow it to go untreated, it can be deadly. To prevent the devastating consequences of organ damage, know the signs to look for. WebMD details the main causes and symptoms of internal bleeding.
Causes of organ damage
Organ damage that causes internal bleeding is the result of physical injury. Trauma typically occurs in one of two ways:
- Penetrating Trauma: Penetrating trauma is the result of a foreign object puncturing the body and tearing a hole in the blood vessels. This type of trauma is typically the result of a stab wound, gun shot or encounter with a sharp object.
- Blunt Trauma: Blunt trauma occurs when an outside object collides with the body at high speeds. When this occurs, the blood vessels in the body become crushed or torn by sheer force. The most common cause of internal bleeding by blunt trauma is a car accident.
Trauma can affect any blood vessel or organ in the body and result in internal bleeding.
Signs of organ damage
In most cases, organ damage is so severe that the injury is obvious. However, when less severe trauma causes internal bleeding, it may take hours or even days for your symptoms to grow steadily worse. Though symptoms will vary depending on which organ sustained injury, there are a few tell-tale signs of a medical emergency.
When the liver or spleen undergoes trauma, you may develop abdominal pain or swelling. The symptoms will grow progressively worse as the bleeding does.
If you develop tightness, swelling and pain in the leg, internal bleeding may be occurring in your thigh. Internal bleeding in the thigh it typically the result of a thighbone fracture.
Seizures, headaches and loss of consciousness indicate trauma to the brain. Deeply purple skin may indicate that your skin or soft tissues sustained damage.
If you develop dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, you may already have lost a significant amount of blood. Any of these signs are cause for immediate emergency medical attention.