Traumatic Infection: A Serious Complication
I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento. There are many different types of traumatic injuries that someone could experience. The severity of these injuries dictates the length and complexity of the recovery process. One of the most common complications of traumatic events is an infection. A disease can be caused by a bacteria, virus, or fungus. Depending on the type and location of the infection, the symptoms and prognosis will vary. The body has numerous defenses against disease, and it is essential to keep all of these intact to guard against these dangerous organisms. Arguably, the most critical security is the body’s skin. The skin has hair, secretes fluid, and deploys immune cells that repel invaders and prevent them from entering the body. If the surface is disrupted in any way, this creates a portal through which the body can become infected. Therefore, any small cut, such as those commonly seen in traumatic accidents, can have an infection as a complication. Sometimes, these infections can be particularly severe. The severity increases if the virus enters the bloodstream and is carried to other areas of the body. Because blood travels to the heart, lungs, abdominal organs, and elsewhere, all of these locations can become infected. Particularly severe infections can even lead to death. For this reason, it is vital to take a look at the different factors that play a role in the severity of an infection.
How Does a Traumatic Infection Happen?
There are several different ways that a traumatic injury, such as those seen in an auto accident, might lead to an infection. Some of the standard mechanisms include:
Direct Infection: Sometimes, a wound can become infected directly. This happens when the injury is created by an object that has already been affected. For example, when someone is involved in a motorcycle accident, a rusty piece of metal could slice open his or her arm. If this metal has bacteria growing on it, the bacteria is transferred directly from the metal to the arm and into the bloodstream, leading to an infection.
Indirect Infection: Not every wound is created by an infected object. In some cases, the injury could be sterile; however, the wound does make someone more susceptible to infection. With a cut in the skin, bacteria and viruses have open the door to the rest of the body. Diseases that are transmitted through the air or via liquid could quickly enter the open wound, creating an infection.
What Determines the Probability of Sustaining an Infection?
Some wounds become infected while others do not. Several common factors increase the chances of developing an infection. These include:
Comorbidities: Some individuals might have chronic medical conditions that lower their ability to fight disease. Some comorbidities, such as diabetes, decrease the amount of blood that flows to some regions of the body. A decrease in blood flow makes it harder for the immune system to reach the site of infection. Multiple research studies have demonstrated that people with diabetes are at higher risk of sustaining infections. This means that it is more challenging for the body to keep invaders out.
Wound Size: The larger the wound, the bigger the doorway into the body. If the injury is extensive, the chances of sustaining an infection are much higher. Studies have shown that wounds greater than 5cm have a higher chance of becoming infected.
Wound Contamination: Clearly, if a wound becomes contaminated, it has a very high chance of becoming infected. Examples of possible wound contamination include dirt, mud, asphalt, and various liquids that could cover the site and lead to an infection. For this reason, maintaining a sterile field is vital.
Time to Wound Closure: If someone has a traumatic laceration, it is important to sterilize the site and close it quickly. The longer a wound stays open, the higher the chances of it becoming infected. Because of this, people should seek medical care as soon as possible following a traumatic injury.
Help is Available
If someone sustains a severe complication, such as an infection, following a traumatic accident, it is essential to sit down with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Sacramento. A lawyer has both the training and expertise necessary to help families through challenging times.
Personal Injury Lawyers in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento. If you or a loved one has developed a severe infection following an accident you may call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for friendly, free legal advice.
I am an injury lawyer in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
You can see our verdicts or settlements here.
Image Citation: The picture at the top of this page was found first on Unsplash. The photo has been reproduced on this page with permission
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