How Do I Know if I Have a Punctured Lung from a Car Accident?
Posted in Car Accidents on November 6, 2020
Car accidents can generate a significant amount of force, leading to violent blunt force trauma to the vehicle’s occupants. If you are in a car crash, you may experience a blow to the chest during the course of the collision — and these injuries can be very dangerous. Trauma to the chest can result in several serious internal injuries, including organ damage, bleeding, and punctured lungs.
Punctured lungs can be extremely dangerous and result in death without prompt medical attention. If you are in a car accident, seek emergency treatment as soon as possible and monitor yourself for common punctured lung symptoms.
Punctured Lung Warning Signs
When you experience a punctured lung, air can no longer collect in the organ and may become trapped in the space between the chest wall and the lungs. This damage prevents you from breathing normally, which may result in the following symptoms.
- Difficulty breathing
- Dull or sharp chest pain
- Pale skin or blue skin due to dropping oxygen levels
- Soft bulges in the skin caused by trapped air
- A dry, persistent cough
Causes of Punctured Lungs During a Car Accident
Car accidents can generate significant amounts of force, and you may experience blunt force trauma to the chest during a collision. In some cases, this trauma breaks your rib cage, and one of your rib bones punctures your lung. A punctured lung can also occur due to an external object entering the body and tearing a hole in the lung.
Regardless of the cause of the injury, a puncture wound prevents the lungs from filling with air and will ultimately lead to a collapse without prompt treatment. A completely collapsed lung can lead to heart failure and other complications, leading to fatal results.
Treatment for Punctured Lungs
If you believe you may have a punctured lung, you will need to go to the hospital as soon as you can. While you are at the hospital, the doctor will use multiple tests to determine the extent of your injuries. You may undergo blood tests, heart monitoring, chest x-rays, and other body scans.
Once your doctor identifies your puncture wound, you will need to undergo emergency medical treatment. You may need supplemental oxygen or a ventilator to steady your breathing during your procedures. You may need antibiotics, pain medicine, surgeries, and needle aspiration to recover from your injuries.
What to Do After a Car Accident
The moments after a car accident can be terrifying, especially if you have a serious injury such as a punctured lung. However, it is important to take swift action to protect your health and preserve evidence for a potential claim.
With injuries such as punctured lungs, failure to seek medical attention can be fatal. Whether you know you are suffering from serious injuries or do not experience any symptoms after the accident, it is important to go to the hospital immediately.
If you can move around the accident site safely and without jeopardizing your health, take the following steps to preserve evidence.
- Call 911 and report the accident to law enforcement.
- Take photographs of your injuries and vehicle damage, as well as the accident scene.
- Exchange contact, license, and insurance information with the other driver.
- If there are any witnesses, ask them for their contact information.
After seeking medical treatment for your punctured lung, contact a Kansas City car accident attorney as soon as possible. Depending on the facts of your accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.