Blunt and Penetrating Chest Trauma
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. The rib cage protects a host of different vital organs. When the chest is subject to trauma, these organs can be damaged. The heart and lungs are protected by the ribs. However, the ribs cannot stop all injuries from impacting vital organs. According to a study published in International Orthopedics:
- In developed countries, the death rate due to chest trauma can be up to 60%.
- About a quarter of patients who have sustained multiple trauma died from chest injuries.
- Chest injuries have a higher death rate in those who have pre-existing heart and lung conditions.
The type of traumatic injuries due to chest trauma also varies depending on the mechanism of injury. Depending on this mechanism, injuries can be categorized as either blunt or penetrating.
Research Study: Blunt vs. Penetrating
A research study was published exploring the differences in the injury patterns between blunt and penetrating chest injuries. With blunt injuries often sustained in an auto accident, these can lead to damage to the chest wall. This includes:
- Ligaments and tendons
- Shallow blood vessels
Blunt chest trauma often presents slower and can be missed on an initial exam. In contrast, penetrating chest trauma typically results from a stab wound, gunshot, or glass that flies through the interior of a car. This has a higher chance of damaging structures underneath, such as the:
If the patient is bleeding acutely, surgery might be needed. Examples of reasons for surgery include a collapsed lung, heart failure, or an aortic tear.
Recovery from Chest Trauma
Once a chest injury has been treated, the recovery can be a great ordeal. Sometimes, people can have chronic, lifelong issues related to blood circulation and oxygenation. This can create problems with:
- Walking upstairs
- Completing yardwork
- Participating in competitive athletics
- Lifting weights
- Sleeping at night
- Scuba diving
- Boarding a plane
- Changes in ambient pressure
For many people, this can be a significant lifestyle hindrance. Individuals and families may lose the ability to participate in activities that were once cornerstones of their life. Furthermore, there may be long-term issues related to their medical care that needs to be addressed.
Legal Help with Chest Injuries
When someone has sustained injuries to his or her chest, several issues may arise. Among these include:
- The circumstances surrounding the accident.
- Possible product liability issues.
- Health insurance claims related to the hospital stay.
- Providing coverage for long-term care.
- Paperwork related to both the accident and the injury.
These are challenging issues that the average family may have trouble handling. In these situations, meeting with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Sacramento can be of great assistance.
Personal Injury Lawyers in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. Chest trauma is a serious injury. If you or a loved one has sustained chest trauma in a car accident, please call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. I will be happy to share some free, friendly advice.
I am honored to be a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
You can read about our verdicts or settlements here.
Image Attribution: The picture at the start of this article was seen first on Unsplash. The photo has been printed here with permission
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