There are millions of car accidents in the U.S. every single year. While many of these leave drivers with no injuries, too many others cause catastrophic bodily damage. Unfortunately, the symptoms of some catastrophic injuries might not appear until days or even weeks after a car accident.
If you have a ruptured spleen, your injury is a medical emergency. Still, it can be difficult to recognize the symptoms of a damaged spleen. Even worse, the injury is notorious for happening long after tow trucks leave accident scenes. Paying close attention to your body can save your life.
What does the spleen do?
Your spleen is important in regulating the white and red blood cells in your body. Indeed, as blood passes through your circulatory system, the spleen screens it to remove old and dead blood cells. Nevertheless, it is possible to live a normal life without a spleen.
Why is a spleen injury serious?
Because blood flows through the spleen, a rupture or tear can be life-threatening. After all, damage to your spleen can result in internal bleeding. Without immediate medical intervention, a ruptured spleen is often fatal.
What are common signs of an injured spleen?
According to the Mayo Clinic, a spleen rupture can happen during a traumatic event or in the days or weeks after one. Call 911 immediately if you have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Pain, especially in the upper left part of your abdomen
- Tenderness when you press on your abdomen
- Pain in your left shoulder or arm
- Confusion or disorientation
- Nausea, vomiting or loss of appetite
Ultimately, if you receive prompt medical attention, you are likely to have a good chance of recovering completely from a spleen injury.