Dangers of Spleen Injuries


Dangers of Spleen Injuries

Internal injuries suffered in an auto accident can quickly turn fatal if they aren’t diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. One injury that requires attention right away is a ruptured spleen.

What Does a Spleen do?

Your spleen’s main function is to purify and filter your blood, clearing out damaged or worn out red blood cells, and microbes from your blood stream. The spleen is also a vital component to your immune system, it is responsible for producing white blood cells that synthesize antibodies and fight infections.

Where is the Spleen?

Most people could easily tell you where their lungs or heart are located, but many aren’t aware where their spleen is located in their body. The spleen is located on a person’s left side tucked up underneath their ribcage just slightly. It is important to know where your spleen is located, because that is where you will feel pain should you suffer a spleen injury.

What Causes Spleen Injuries?

Spleen injuries are generally caused by abdominal trauma, which commonly occurs as a result of auto accidents, pedestrian injuries, and motorcycle accidents. Forceful blows to the spleen can also be caused by sports injuries or physical altercations. Problems with your spleen can also arise from disease or infections that interfere with how your spleen filters and produces blood cells.

What are the Symptoms of an Injured Spleen?

There are some tell-tell signs that you may have suffered a spleen injury. The below-listed symptoms can present themselves in the days or weeks following an impact. Monitor yourself closely for these symptoms.

  • Blurred Vision
  • Lightheadedness
  • Confusion
  • Pain in the upper left area of your abdomen
  • Tenderness in your abdomen

If you are experiencing these symptoms following a traumatic injury, you should seek medical attention right away. A ruptured spleen can quickly evolve into a life-threatening condition.

Diagnosing a Spleen Injury

If you are showing any symptoms of a spleen injury, the first step your doctor will take to diagnose it, is to feel your abdomen in the region of your spleen. Your doctor will look for tenderness and/or swelling during the examination. If your doctor feels that you may have suffered a spleen injury, they will then draw a fluid sample. If the fluid reveals blood in your abdomen, your medical provider may send you for an imaging test to get a better view.

Variations of Spleen Repair

Some minor to moderate spleen injuries can heal by themselves with treatment such as rest and blood transfusions. A severe spleen rupture, however, may require a surgical procedure to repair.

  • Spleen Repair- A surgeon will go in and stitch the ruptured area of the spleen.
  • Partial Spleen Removal- If one portion of your spleen is injured, your medical provider may be able to perform a partial splenectomy, which removes the injured part of your spleen.
  • Complete Splenectomy- If your spleen is severely damaged, your doctor can perform a full or complete splenectomy. This procedure can leave a patient prone to disease or infection, which can be managed with medical intervention.

Placerville Auto Accident & Personal Injury Attorneys

I’m Ed Smith, a Placerville auto accident attorney. If you or a member of your family have been involved in an auto accident and sustained injuries due to another person’s negligence, call me anytime at (530) 392-9400 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice.

I have been assisting individuals and their families with their personal injury and wrongful death cases for over three decades.

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