Splenic Injury Lawyers in St. Louis
Blunt Splenic Injury
Blunt force trauma to the spleen can result in rupture of the organ with subsequent massive internal bleeding. When a strong blunt force is directed at the left side and back, there is always the potential of splenic injury, either direct or indirect. Direct injury occurs as a result of increased pressure causing the capsule surrounding the spleen to rupture and bleed. Indirect injury typically occurs when the force applied is strong enough to fracture the lower left ribs with subsequent puncture or penetration of the spleen. Either of these mechanisms can occur with tractor trailer accidents, truck accidents, auto accidents, work-related accidents, falls from great heights, or contact sport injuries.
In the case of splenic injury, symptoms may or may not be present; it is primarily dependent on the amount of bleeding caused by the injury. The greater the amount of bleeding, the more likely you will experience symptoms and the severity of the symptoms will be worse. Common symptoms include abdominal discomfort, bruising along the left side, and tenderness to touch along the left side. With massive bleeding, a person may go into shock which can have symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, fast and shallow breathing, pale skin, and lightheadedness.
Treatment for splenic injury will depend on the severity of the symptoms a person is experiencing as well as the severity of the injury. If the patient has a stable blood pressure, heart rate, etc, they typically are watched closely for signs of active bleeding – which can be seen on imaging. If an active bleed is found, it may be possible to occlude, or block, the blood vessel using a small catheter threaded through the veins from the leg to the bleeding vessel, eliminating the need for major surgery. However, if the patient is not stable or shows signs of shock, emergent surgery to control the bleeding is indicated and will usually result in the spleen being removed. With significant blood loss, there is also the chance that you may need a blood transfusion.
Blunt splenic injury has a low mortality rate with complete recovery in most individuals.
It is important to know that if the spleen must be removed, you will be at increased risk of infection from certain bugs for the rest of your life. Prior to leaving the hospital, you will be given three vaccinations – polyvalent pneumococcal (pneumonia vaccine), H. influenza type B (upper respiratory infection vaccine), and meningococcal (meningitis vaccine). You will also need a yearly flu vaccine to help prevent serious infections from any of these organisms.
Dynamic Legal Experience You Can Depend On
Coping with an injury related to blunt trauma to the spleen is difficult. Our Missouri injury lawyers aggressively represent victims and hold wrongdoers accountable for their negligent actions. We have a strong record of helping injured victims recover the compensation they deserve. Call our firm today at (314) 322-8515 for a free consultation and to learn more about your legal options.