The Dangers Of Unrecognized Internal Bleeding
Falling or being involved in a car accident may cause compression or deceleration forces that can damage internal organs without necessarily breaking the skin. External bleeding is easy to see; internal bleeding is more difficult to recognize. Trained medical personnel should check for and recognize signs of blood loss caused by internal injury.
When internal bleeding is misdiagnosed and its treatment is delayed, serious complications and death may occur. In those circumstances, the person responsible for the error may be liable for medical negligence.
Crandall & Pera Law’s team of experienced medical malpractice attorneys and registered nurses has represented clients and their families throughout Ohio who suffered death or injury as a result of undiagnosed internal bleeding. We have obtained millions of dollars for them as just and rightful compensation for their losses. If you or a loved one has been injured by malpractice, let us help you too.
The Causes Of Internal Bleeding
Internal bleeding may be caused by a number of conditions. The most common reasons are:
- Damage to a blood vessel. This usually occurs because of trauma, but it may also have medical causes such as a ruptured aneurysm or a burst appendix. The degree of internal bleeding depends upon the severity of the force applied, which blood vessel is injured, and the medical condition of the patient prior to injury.
- Insufficient clotting factors in the blood. The body is able to repair minor blood vessel damage under some circumstances. For example, when an injury causes bleeding into a confined space such as an ankle or a toe, the combination of pressure from swelling and blood clotting factors brings bleeding under control. If the injured person has hemophilia, the lack of clotting factors allows the bleeding to continue.
- Anticoagulant medications. Drugs such as warfarin are used to treat certain patients whose blood clotting ability needs to be reduced. As a result, they bruise easily, and can bleed uncontrollably if their internal organs sustain sudden impact. Aspirin may have the same effect, although at a lower level.
Why Internal Bleeding Sometimes Goes Undiagnosed
The symptoms of internal bleeding are not always clear-cut. Health care professionals must evaluate where the bleeding is located, how much has occurred, and what structures and body functions are affected. For example, intra-abdominal bleeding causes pain, and may present as ulcers, gallstones, pancreatitis or appendicitis. If there is enough blood loss, a patient may complain of weakness, lightheadedness and other symptoms of stroke when the cause is actually a leaking aneurysm.
To complicate matters, a patient may be in no condition to provide a medical history or a list of medications they have been taking, and may have been admitted unaccompanied or unconscious. We might sympathize with the doctors under these circumstances, but only a thorough review of the case, including all the medical records, can disclose whether every examination, test and treatment necessary was done properly and timely. If this was not the case, and if the patient’s condition worsened as a result, then the hospital or its professional staff may be liable for malpractice.
Tell Us What Happened
If you or a family member has suffered because of a health care provider’s misdiagnosis of internal bleeding, we want to help. One of our lawyers can begin the process to determine whether or not your injury was the result of a missed or incorrect diagnosis, and will begin to document the evidence needed to build your case.