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How can doctors identify and treat internal bleeding?

If you suffered a serious trauma, you could have internal bleeding. Internal bleeding typically requires emergency medical care.

According to WebMD, internal bleeding can occur after blunt force trauma in a car accident.

Internal bleeding symptoms

Internal bleeding may not have very many outward symptoms at first. The symptoms depend on the severity of the injury. You may have the following:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Swelling
  • Purple skin
  • Light-headedness
  • Headaches

If there is a risk for internal bleeding and you have any symptoms, seek medical care immediately.

Internal bleeding treatments

Most internal bleeding patients have to undergo treatment in the emergency department of the hospital. Physicians may administer IV fluids or blood transfusions. The loss of blood can cause an unsafe drop in your blood pressure, so physicians and other medical staff must ensure that it stabilizes. Doctors may order an ultrasound or CT scan.

The doctors may choose to observe you at first, to see if the bleeding stops by itself. The next option is surgical intervention. Surgery may include an exploratory laparotomy, where a surgeon explores the abdomen and seals the leaking blood vessels.

Another option is thoracotomy. The thoracotomy is for bleeding around the lungs or heart. Surgeons make the incision along your rib cage or breastbone to access the chest. Then, he or she can stop the bleeding.

A fasciotomy occurs in areas like the thigh. If you have an internal bleed in your thigh, it can cut off the blood flow to your leg. In this instance, the surgeon can cut into the thigh to relieve the pressure.

In some instances, those who suffer from internal bleeding may receive additional treatments to aid in clotting the blood.