Traumatic Shock in an Auto Accident

Traumatic Shock in an Auto Accident

Traumatic Shock in an Auto Accident

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer. Shock is a bodily response to adverse circumstances and can take on many forms. Some forms of shock have to do with body temperature while others manifest as a result of infection or blood loss. Recently, medical providers have started to recognize a new type of shock called traumatic shock. This can result from significant trauma, such as that found in an auto accident.

Shock: Important Information

Shock is a critical bodily state that results from the rapid loss of intravenous fluid. Made up of blood, water, oxygen, and nutrients, this fluid must continue to flow to maintain organ function. When this fluid is depleted, blood pressure falls, and circulation stops. Some of the signs of shock include:

  • Lethargic mental state
  • A falling blood pressure
  • Increasing heart rate
  • A drop in urine output
  • Increase in respiratory rate

All of these can be symptoms of a serious or catastrophic personal injury leading to rapid blood loss. However, there are several different types of shock that people should be aware of.

An Overview: Types of Shock

Shock results from a sudden drop in blood flow throughout the body. There are several different types of shock that someone could be suffering from. These include:

Cardiogenic Shock: This is a shock that results from a cardiac problem. Often resulting from acute heart failure, the heart is no longer able to pump blood to the rest of the body. Common reasons include a heart attack, coronary artery damage, or problem with the aorta.

Obstructive Shock: In obstructive shock, the heart is pumping adequately. However, something is blocking the outflow of blood from the heart. This often results from a pulmonary embolism, collapsed lung, or a heart condition called tamponade.

Hypovolemic Shock: This type of shock results from acute blood loss. Even though the heart is pumping well, there simply isn’t enough volume. Hypovolemic shock is caused by a traumatic injury leading to blood loss, prolonged vomiting or diarrhea, or serious burn injuries.

Traumatic Shock in an Auto Accident

In addition to the potentially life-threatening shock syndromes, medical professionals have started to discuss a type of shock called traumatic shock. This has a different biological mechanism than the shock syndromes discussed above. Often seen with cases of blunt trauma, such as those in an auto accident, traumatic shock can lead to a dramatic inflammatory response. When the body is injured, inflammation results. This often leads to swelling. With major trauma in a car crash, the body releases more inflammatory mediators, called cytokines. These cytokines can lead to an overdrive of inflammation throughout the body’s organs. According to research, this has been shown to cause respiratory distress, blood coagulation problems, and multiple organ dysfunction. When the body’s organs start to become inflamed, their blood supply can be choked off. This leads to multiple organ failure and, potentially, death. Examples of injuries that can lead to traumatic shock include burns, numerous bone fractures, and internal organ hemorrhage.

Legal Assistance with Injuries Related to Shock

Shock is an acute issue that needs to be addressed immediately to prevent death. While blood transfusions, IV fluids, and special medications may be required to maintain blood pressure, this is only the beginning of the recovery process. As the medical recovery continues, several issues may start to arise. These can take the form of:

  • Paperwork
  • Legal questions
  • Logistical matters
  • Health insurance claims
  • Auto insurance claims
  • Medical records and jargon

These are all problems that can be challenging for someone without judicial experience. A trained and experienced attorney can provide significant assistance with these complex issues.

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I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer. Some shock syndromes can be life-threatening. If you or a loved one has suffered traumatic injuries in an accident, call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.

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