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Compartment Syndrome of the Liver

Compartment Syndrome of the Liver

The abdomen is home to many different important organs, each of which has its own function. The liver is a vital organ, meaning that people cannot live without their liver (thus the name). The job of the liver is to filter out toxins from the blood, eventually removing them from the body. The liver also plays a vital role in the digestive process, helping to break down proteins and fats. Liver disease and liver injuries are incredibly common in the United States. According to information that has been published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • Nearly five million adults in the US have been diagnosed with some form of liver disease.
  • This represents about one out of every 50 people in the country.
  • In 2016, more than 40,000 adults died due to complications stemming from liver damage.
  • This is 12.5 people out of every 100,000 in the United States.

Liver disease and liver injuries can take many different forms. While it is true that many people develop liver disease gradually over time, an acute liver injury can also take place. Sometimes, this develops following a car accident.

Mechanisms of Liver Injury: Swelling

The liver is protected by a layer of fascia which helps to hold it in place. In a car accident, people can sustain trauma to the abdomen, where the liver is located. Some of the common mechanisms include:

  • An injury from a seat belt.
  • Blunt trauma from the steering wheel.
  • A penetrating injury from metal or glass.

Like other parts of the body, the liver responds to an injury by swelling. This swelling is the result of the body rushing extra fluid and cells to the site of the injury to expedite the repair process. Unfortunately, this can also lead to compartment syndrome.

Treatment of Liver Compartment Syndrome

As the liver swells inside its protective layer, the fascia can actually start to strangle the liver. The compression of the liver against the fascia can cut off the flow of blood in and around the liver. Without its oxygen and nutrients, the liver starts to fail. This manifests as:

  • Severe abdominal pain in the right upper quadrant.
  • Yellowing of the eyes and face called jaundice.
  • Elevated levels of liver enzymes and bilirubin in the blood.

The treatment of liver compartment syndrome is often emergent surgery to release the fascia and halt the compression. If the liver damage is extensive, people may need a liver transplant.

Watch YouTube video: Liver Failure | FAQ with Dr. Amy Kim. In the video below, Dr. Amy Kim from John Hopkins Medicine answers questions regarding acute and chronic liver failure.

Contacting a Personal Injury Law Firm

An acute liver injury, particularly a traumatic one, can place a loved one in the hospital. This can leave a family confused and searching for answers. Under these circumstances, it is a good idea to meet with a trained personal injury lawyer. An attorney can help a family in multiple ways, including:

  • Helping them understand the various options available to them.
  • Working with engineers to reconstruct an accident scene, making sure that liability has been assigned appropriately.
  • Assisting people to seek damages due to injuries, both physical and emotional.
  • If necessary, filing paperwork with the courts.

Families should never have to go through these tough times alone. This is why it is essential to meet with a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento. You and your loved one could be deserving of compensation.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Personal Injury Lawyer in Sacramento. Compartment syndrome of the liver can lead to liver failure. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a car accident, call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.

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