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Hypovolemic shock results from untreated blood loss

A car crash can be one of the most terrifying moments of your life. You were likely astonished you had survived. In fact, if you felt little or no pain, it may have been because your body released massive amounts of adrenaline to protect you from the trauma.

The worst mistake an accident victim can make in such circumstances is to refuse medical help. If you have an internal injury, you may be bleeding inside. Losing too much blood before doctors can assess your condition can lead to a very serious condition called hypovolemic shock.

Recognizing shock

Hypovolemic shock means your body has lost a significant volume of blood. Blood carries crucial oxygen to your organs and extremities, and shock is your body's reaction when not enough blood-borne oxygen is circulating. Internal injuries, such as damage to the spleen, liver or stomach, can result in extensive undetected blood loss until you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Excessive sweating
  • Lightheadedness and confusion
  • Pale, clammy skin
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Abdominal pain and nausea
  • Blood in your urine, stool or vomit
  • Weakness, dizziness or fainting

A combination of these symptoms following a trauma such as a motor vehicle accident can indicate that organs, particularly your kidneys and brain, are not receiving enough oxygen. If your extremities do not receive the blood they need, the tissue may start to die, which may leave your medical team no option but to remove any affected limbs. Additionally, your heart will continue to try to pump as much blood as possible, but the low volume in your body may place a deadly strain on your cardiovascular system.

Recovering from shock

When California doctors see the signs of shock in you, they will act quickly. Their first priority will be determining where the bleeding is occurring. This may include a battery of tests, scans and assessments to diagnose the extent of your injury. You may need surgery to repair the injury, intravenous blood and fluids to stabilize your circulation, possible transfusions, and a variety of medications to help your body recover. You may also need treatment for infection or sepsis.

The damage of internal injury is often catastrophic and life-changing. You can expect a long recuperation, therapy and mountains of medical bills. Many in your condition reach out to an attorney for advice about pursuing a civil claim for compensation from those responsible for the accident. A skilled attorney can work to maximize such a claim.

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Ball & Bonholtzer
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