Health

Injuries People Receive In Car Accidents And The Treatment Needed

Car accidents can lead to different injuries. It’s worth mentioning though that, not every injury caused by a car accident is harmful, some of them don’t even require medical assistance.

In the US, crash injuries cost Americans 18 billion dollars in lifetime medical costs in 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most of that amount is spent after a year the crash occurred.

If you are interested in learning the types of injuries one could suffer, or if you’ve been in a car accident yourself, stick to this article to be more prepared in case something happens.

As said before, there are a variety of car crash injuries. There are two main groups: Soft tissue injuries, and hard tissue injuries.

Soft tissue injuries

In this case, the accident harms only the epidermis, the outer layer of skin.

Sprains

This requires a series of x-rays to rule out the possibility of fractures and broken bones since the affected area will show swelling and points of tenderness.

Besides that, a couple of physical exams in the affected area of the body will be needed.

By doing this, the doctor will be able to know the extension of the sprain, the location, and intensity of the pain, and help determine the nature of the damage.

For a quick self-care of a sprain, four stages are needed:

  1. Rest
  2. Ice
  3. Compression
  4. Elevation

After that, medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen are used to help pain relief.

Lacerations such as gashes and cuts

The most common car accidents can go from minor cuts to major gashes that, in the best scenario, can require stitches, and, in the worst scenario, surgery.

The severity of the car crash lacerations determines how the injuries are treated. Minor lacerations can be treated at home by applying direct pressure in the area of the laceration, cleaning up with soap and water, and protecting the wound with a bandage to avoid infections.

Deeper lacerations need medical attention. The wound may have to receive stitches for the bleeding to stop; this procedure will protect the underlying tissues and lessen the scarring.  Accident lawyers can be contacted by people requiring assistance with their compensation claims arising from injuries suffered in car accidents.

Shoulder impingement

A shoulder pain that restricts the range of motion and can interfere with daily activities that involve lifting the arms above the head and performing circular movements.

This happens because the tendons of the shoulder become inflamed due to excessive exertion caused by the crash.

A doctor will conduct a review of your activities, perform exams, and request a couple of x-rays to rule out arthritis or other problems associated. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound will act to reveal tears in the rotator cuff tendons and inflammation in the bursa.

The treatments for that type of injury vary from case to case, including:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Steroid injections
  • Physical therapy.

Torn ACL 

The ACL is acronym for the anterior cruciate ligament which is a connector tissue located in the middle of your knee. It’s one of the most common knee injuries from car accidents especially in rollover collisions due to the instantaneous change in direction of your body.

Similar to the sprains, a physical exam will be needed to evaluate the swelling and tenderness in the affected area comparing your injured knee to your uninjured knee.

The doctor may also move your knee into a variety of positions to assess the range of motion and overall function of the joint. Also performing a series of x-rays, an MRI, and ultrasound to determine the severity of the injury.

For the treatment, the victim will also need the four stages earlier mentioned in the treatment for sprains (rest, ice, compression, elevation). However, if the ACL injury is severe, surgery may be necessary.

MCL tear

Is the medial collateral ligament, located on the inner part of your knee. It’s also a knee injury caused by the instantaneous impact of the car crash, regardless of the grade of the tear, initial treatment is focused on immobilizing the knee and reducing pain and inflammation.

As with the previous injury, the doctor will perform a series of x-rays and an MRI, and for this specific injury, a Valgus Stress Test or medial stress test will be performed to determine the grade of the injury.

The treatment consists of resting, icing, and elevating the knee, taking medicaments like ibuprofen and acetaminophen to help with the pain and avoid inflammation, and wearing a brace to allow the knee to bland and limit drastic movements. Depending on the grade of the injury, the victim can request surgery.

First-degree burns

It affects the first layer of your skin, they usually don’t require medical treatment. Still, it can be very large and painful needing medical assistance especially if the victim is an elder person or a child to avoid infections. That type of injury is caused by friction during a car crash.  Personal injury lawyers Perth are available to assist people with their injury compensation claims arising from car accidents.

The emergency steps for the treatment are: cool the burn right away, immerse the burn in cool tap water, or apply cold and wet compresses, doing this for 10 minutes until the pain decrease. After, apply petroleum jelly two to three times a day followed by the use of a sterilized bandage.

Depending on the healing process, it’s worth considering taking medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen to ease the pain and inflammation. Protecting the injury from the sun is extremely necessary to minimize the scarring.

Hard tissue injures

That typically involves damage to the bones or teeth and is caused as a result of force applied to the body directly, resulting in fractures, dislocations, and other breakages. Usually, medical assistance is required immediately when these types of injuries occur.

They are divided into:

  • Closed fracture

It’s a complete break of the bone, which remains underneath the skin. The treatment for that kind of injury depends on the location and severity.

Therefore, immobilization is needed in every case, and orthopedic specialists or surgeons will align the best course of treatment.

  • Open fractures

Also called a compound fracture, it occurs when the bone breaks and protrudes through the skin, once the skin is broken, bacteria from dirt and other contaminants can enter the wound and cause infection.

Almost all compound fractures need surgery as soon as possible so the affected area can be cleaned up, avoiding major infections.

Car accidents can change one’s life forever. Having someone to ensure rights and an efficient, knowledgeful team of doctors are crucial to getting back to the before-the-accident life.

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