Missouri Blunt Cardiac Trauma Attorneys
Blunt Cardiac Trauma
The heart is normally protected by the rib cage surrounding the chest cavity. However, when enough force strikes the chest, rib fractures can occur – that compressive force is then transferred to the heart resulting in injury to the heart. Alternatively, the heart can be injured as it collides with the bony structures within the chest cavity during a deceleration injury. The most common causes include motor vehicle accidents, tractor trailer accidents, truck accidents, and work-related injuries.
Symptoms of Blunt Cardiac Trauma
The most common symptom experienced by people who have cardiac trauma is chest pain located over the sternum that does not improve with pain medication (very similar to the pain experienced in a heart attack). Another possible constellation of symptoms are fast heart beat, rapid breathing, pale color, and lightheadedness. Depending on the severity of the injury, the person may lose consciousness.
Treatment and Prognosis
The primary goal of the treatment for blunt cardiac trauma is stabilizing the person’s vital signs, i.e. normalizing the heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Some of the ways this may be done are a beta blocker, such as metoprolol, to slow down the heart rate and lower blood pressure. IV fluids and oxygen will also help stabilize the person. If there was a ruptured valve or heart chamber, immediate surgery may be needed and a blood transfusion could be necessary. Finally, if the injury has caused your heart to start beating in an abnormal rhythm, the heart may need to be shocked to restart the heart with a correct rhythm.
There are many problems that may be noticed in conjunction with or subsequent to this type of injury that may require a doctor’s attention:
- Abnormal heart rhythm (most common)
- Rupture of a heart valve or valvular dysfunction, noticed as a new heart murmur
- Injury to the blood vessels supplying the heart tissue
- Rupture of any part of the heart
- Bleeding into the sac surrounding the heart
With severe injury, such as heart rupture, mortality is very high. For an uncomplicated contusion, or bruise, you may have a full recovery.
Distinguished Legal Representation
Our St. Louis injury lawyers have the experience and skills to help victims injured by another person’s negligence seek the compensation for damages. If you or a family member has suffered blunt cardiac trauma in an accident caused by careless actions, call (314) 322-8515 today.