Your circulatory system moves blood to and from your heart through a massive network of veins and arteries. Consequently, a cut to your skin may result in considerable blood loss. An internal injury, though, may put your life in danger before you realize there is a problem.
Internal bleeding is one of the more common injuries drivers and passengers suffer in car accidents. Because even a seemingly minor collision may cause internal bleeding, you should seek emergency medical care after any type of car crash to be certain you are ok.
Signs of internal bleeding
Your torso and limbs house major parts of your circulatory system. If any part of your body collides with a fixed object in a car crash, such as your seat belt, you may be vulnerable to internal bleeding. Rapid deceleration may also cause you to bleed internally.
Because internal bleeding is a potentially life-threatening medical emergency, watch for the following signs of it:
- Blood in your nose, mouth, throat or stool
- Bruises on your midsection, neck or limbs
- Chest pain
- Breathing difficulty
- Nausea or vomiting
- Confusion or disorientation
Your body’s stress response
Car accidents are often traumatic and stressful events. To help you manage the situation, your body releases stress hormones and increases heart rate. You may also have a higher pain threshold. Consequently, you may not realize you have sustained a serious injury immediately.
Your elevated heart rate may put you in further danger. That is, when your heart beats faster, it moves more blood through your circulatory system. If you do not receive immediate medical care for internal bleeding, you may sustain further injuries or even die after the collision.