Auto Accidents Can Cause Aortic Injuries


When someone is involved in an auto accident, numerous traumatic injuries might result. While bone fractures are common, heart and blood vessel injuries have the potential to be life-threatening. Most people understand that distracted and drunk driving increases the risk of car and truck accidents, and someone who rear-ends another vehicle can suffer chest trauma at the hands of the steering wheel.

The aorta leaves the heart and performs a hairpin turn, descending down through the abdomen. Along the way, it branches off and releases numerous other arteries that feed a wide variety of tissues throughout the body. Because the aorta spans the length of the chest and abdomen, there are numerous places that it can be injured; however, it typically requires extreme force to injure the aorta because it is protected by the rib cage and numerous other tissues along its journey.

An example of this severe trauma is an auto accident. When someone comes to a sudden stop, such as rear-ending another object or motor vehicle, the body is restrained by the seatbelt. Improper use of the seatbelt can lead to significant shearing forces on the body, leading to a tear in the aorta. Another mechanism is a sudden collision with the dashboard or steering wheel.  

crushing injury to the chest and rib cage can lead to an aortic dissection or a puncture wound to the aorta by a broken rib. As a recent research study demonstrated, people who are still growing, such as children, could have smaller and weaker bones that make them more prone to suffering these severe injuries.

The Results of a Research Study

A team of research professionals conducted a meta-analysis of numerous other case reports. They performed a search looking for research papers and case reports describing aortic injuries in children due to various traumatic events or accidents. The results that they found were fascinating.

They identified several common causes, such as sports, physical abuse, and even slip and fall injuries; however, the most common mechanism of aortic injuries that they found in children were auto accidents. There were several different types of accidents involved, including cars and trucks; however, because auto accidents can cause blunt chest and abdominal trauma, there is always the potential for children to suffer aortic and other heart and blood vessel injuries. The consequences of damage to the aorta can be severe.

Recovery From Aortic Damage is Long and Arduous

Aortic damage can deprive the body's tissues of the blood supply that they need to survive. When the aorta is damaged or turns, blood can leak into the chest cavity instead of staying in the body's intricate plumbing system. As this blood leaks out, the body becomes starved for the oxygen and nutrients that are provided by the blood that is leaking out of the aorta.

If there is concern that a child has suffered an injury to their aorta, it is imperative for the child to receive urgent imaging and IV fluids, or even a blood transfusion, to confirm the injury and start to replace the volume loss from the blood leaking out of the aorta. After this, urgent surgery will be required to repair the rear of the aorta before too much blood is lost. After the surgery is finished, the recovery process is long. It will take some time for the blood vessel to heal fully and for the body to recover from any of the other ancillary injuries.

An Injury Lawyer in Sacramento Can Remove Significant Stress

Having a child in the hospital places untoward stress on the entire family. Parents may be wondering how they will care for a child in the hospital while also attending work and keeping the house running. It might be challenging to run errands and care for the other children in the family.

If there are any legal issues or insurance problems that come up, this could be too much to bear. This is where a caring legal adviser can help. Injury lawyers are trained to deal with these problems and can take these issues off of the shoulders of the parents, allowing them to focus on their family. They can fill out paperwork, talk with insurance companies, and investigate the circumstances of the accident to make sure that no detail is missed. Nobody should feel alone because help is always available.

Personal Injury Lawyer in Sacramento

I’m Ed Smith, an Injury Lawyer in Sacramento. If you or someone you care about have suffered blood vessel damage in a traumatic accident, please contact us for free, friendly advice at 916.921.6400 or 800.404.5400.

We are members of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

See our client reviews on GoogleYelp, and Avvo and case history of verdicts and settlements.

Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 3.24.21]

Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash

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