Articles Posted in Blunt Trauma

Management of Blunt Trauma Chest Injuries

Management of Blunt Trauma Chest Injuries

Management of Blunt Trauma Chest Injuries

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Chest Trauma Lawyer. Patients who seem clinically stable and have no apparent injury but have suffered a high energy blunt trauma injury from rapid deceleration, such as in an automobile accident, are at risk of having severe injury to the chest.  A portable chest x-ray is part of the initial evaluation.  If this is normal and there are no other injuries, a regular chest x-ray including lateral x-ray should be performed.  A CT scan of the chest is done if there are any findings of suspicion on chest x-ray.

An EKG is performed on all patients who have sustained chest trauma to the front of the chest, patients who have a history of heart disease, and in the elderly.  Patients who have no findings on any of the above evaluations and are otherwise stable, may be sent home.  They should be told of the possibility of delayed issues and told to return to the emergency department immediately if they develop problems breathing, lightheadedness, or severe pain in the chest.

Cardiac Injuries

A cardiac contusion should be evaluated with an EKG in patients who have sustained a blunt trauma to the chest and have the following findings:

  • Fracture of the sternum
  • Pain or tenderness over the mid-chest area
  • A history of heart disease
  • Rollover, high speed collision, or a fatality in the accident
  • Signs of ongoing heart disease

If there are cardiac arhythmias, the patient should be watched via cardiac monitoring and may need an echocardiogram. Continue reading ›

What is Blunt Cardiac Contusion?

What is Blunt Cardiac Contusion?

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Car Crash Lawyer. A blunt cardiac injury or BCI is an injury to the cardiac tissue from a blunt trauma to the chest.  It usually results from trauma in a motor vehicle accident in which the chest strikes the steering wheel or dashboard of the car.  It can range from being a clinically silent injury with brief arrhythmias or a severe rupture of the cardiac wall, which is almost uniformly fatal.

Blunt Aortic Injury

Blunt Aortic Injury

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer. Most people who sustain a major injury to the aorta during a blunt aortic injury die instantly.  Of those who survive to make it to the hospital, many die during the initial management of the condition and don’t make it to surgery.  Hemorrhage from other nearby veins or rib fractures, vertebral fractures, or sternal fractures can mimic an aortic injury.  Most aortic injuries are tears straight across the aorta with smooth edges.  The injury can be as slight as a tear of the inner lining of the aorta to a complete transection of the aorta. Sometimes these injuries may be called cardiac contusions.

As a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer, I’ve seen my fair share of these tragic injuries. The blunt aortic injury is the most lethal of all chest trauma injuries.  The major risk factors include the following:

  • Being in the front seat
  • Being older than age 60
  • Not wearing a seat belt restraint
  • Front or near-side motor vehicle crashes
  • Abrupt deceleration injury
  • Crushed vehicle
  • Intrusion into the passenger space
  • Being hit by an SUV

Continue reading ›

Multiple Trauma

High-velocity trauma is a major cause of death among those aged 18-44 years of age throughout the world.  Many die from blunt trauma (80 percent), especially in those aged 34 and under.  These types of injuries have cost the US $75 billion USD in lost income alone each year.

wheelchair
Breaking a bone is always painful and includes inherent recovery time, but trimalleolar ankle fractures present special challenges – in this post we will look at who is at risk for trimalleolar ankle fractures and examine the treatment protocol.  An ankle can be fractured while participating in high impact sports, but they are just as commonly caused by simple falls.  The type of treatment recommended and the estimated length of recovery are both dependent on the type and severity of the fracture. A trimalleolar fracture is severe and will disable a person for an extended length of time. A formal physical therapy regimen is crucial to achieve the best recovery possible from such an injury.

Some facts regarding trimalleolar fractures:

trauma and pregnancy
With trauma and pregnancy, the trauma has two patients to manage—the mother and the unborn fetus. The various things done in dealing with a pregnant trauma patient depends on where she is in the pregnancy, the viability of the fetus and the nature of the injuries.

Overview of Trauma and Pregnancy

By the late 1980s, states in the U.S. began adopting a variety of bicycle helmet laws to improve safety and reduce serious injuries. Studies have found that helmets can reduce reduce the occurrence of head injuries by about half and the frequency of neck or facial injuries by about one third. These studies are not without controversy, however, as other studies and anecdotal data indicate there may be much less protection from helmets. Currently, more than 20 states have some form of a statewide bicycle helmet law and hundreds of cities have individually adopted similar requirements. Only about a dozen states have neither statewide nor local bicycle helmet laws.bicycle helmet laws

Since 1999, standards for helmets in the United States have been mandated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The primary protection offered by this type of helmet is a reduction in impact acceleration to the head from an inner liner of polystyrene that absorbs energy as it crushes, similar to how a car’s structure is designed to absorb energy by crushing so as to protect its occupants. In order to offer this crush protection, however, it is crucial that bicycle helmets be in good condition (no prior impacts) and properly fitted to each individual rider’s head. Unfortunately, this often doesn’t happen — one study published in 2003 found that although nearly three-quarters of the studied children reported wearing helmets when bicycling, more than 90% of children had helmets with either condition and/or fit problems. When the fit of the helmet had been selected by the parent alone without any expert input, none were found by the study to fit properly. Expert assistance is key.

craneSomething about crane accidents capture the imagination and horror of many.  When a tragic crane accident occurs, it is often front page news, perhaps because it results in dramatic images of property damage, sometimes way up in a city’s skyline.  But the severe injuries and deaths that can occur in such a situation make an accident involving a crane something not to be ogled, but avoided at all costs.  Construction workers account for a disproportionate percentage of work-related fatalities yearly and are substantially more likely to receive serious injuries when compared to employees in other industries.

After a series of crane accidents making the news, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched a program aimed at reducing significant injuries and deaths related to the operation of cranes in general industry, construction and maritime operations in the Pacific Northwest.  And to improve compliance with its program, OSHA conducted compliance inspections, training, consultations on-site, and outreach programs.  They also formed partnerships and alliances to help improve crane safety.

coasterHave you ever wondered who is liable if you get injured while riding a roller coaster?  We’ve all seen the dramatic footage of unfortunate thrill seekers hanging suspended from a malfunctioning roller coaster, precariously dangling and hoping for a quick repair.  Many times, the damage to the park visitor is simply more thrills than he or she bargained for, but sometimes physical injuries do happen.  On average, about 5-7 amusement park accidents happen per year in California.  Sometimes even being stuck for hours in an awkward position while waiting for the ride to be fixed is enough to cause soft tissue injuries such as neck and back strain.  Unfortunately there have even been cases where freak roller coaster accidents have resulted in passenger deaths.

Some people may think that riding a “thrill ride” means that they assume some risk of injury and that perhaps the amusement park is absolved of liability, or fault.  However, the courts in California have not found that to be the case.  In fact, they hold the amusement parks to a high standard of care with regard to roller coasters.  When there is negligence involved, such as when a pine tree fell and landed across the tracks of a roller coaster in Southern California, resulting in injuries, the injured parties have a valid cause of action against the park.