Motor vehicle accidents often lead to immediately apparent injuries – it’s not unusual for victims to show cuts, puncture wounds, abrasions and fractures following a crash. But automobile accidents can also lead to internal body damage, such as heart injuries.
Heart injuries after collisions
High-impact motor vehicle collisions are more likely to lead to heart injuries because it takes great force to rattle the heart around the chest area. A sufficiently strong impact on the chest area could also crush a driver or passenger’s chest cavity, damaging the heart.
Possible heart-related injuries drivers can suffer following a collision include:
- Atrial fibrillation: Irregular heart rhythm that can lead to blood clots.
- Aortic dissections: A tear in the inner layer of the heart’s main artery causes blood to split the layers of the aorta, which can lead to severe chest pains, loss of consciousness, leg pain, shortness of breath, and even death.
- Aortic rupture: This is when all the layers of the aorta tear, which makes blood spill into the individual’s chest cavity. This can prevent the heart from sending oxygenated blood to the rest of the body and can be ultimately fatal.
- Myocardial contusion: This is a bruise to the heart muscle caused by severe blunt force to the chest area. It can lead to pain and bruising in the chest area, low blood pressure, shortness of breath and even send the individual into shock.
These critical medical conditions must be treated immediately before they become fatal.
Heart failure risk after a crash
Medical studies have also discovered a strong connection between vehicle crashes and increased heart failure and stroke risk. The Boston University School of Medicine found that vehicle occupants of car crashes were more vulnerable to heart failure 30 to 180 days after collision incidents. The occupants’ risk of stroke also increased within 180 days.
Heart injuries are some of the most expensive medical conditions to treat. Drivers and passengers who suffer heart conditions following a crash will want to consult with a legal professional who can help them obtain the maximum compensation possible from the other driver to help pay for their costly hospitalization.