After a car accident, you should receive medical attention right away because symptoms of serious injury are not always immediately evident. Internal bleeding is a good example because it can occur while the skin is still intact.
According to Healthline, internal bleeding may result from a trauma such as a car accident. The signs may vary depending on where in your body the bleeding occurs.
Internal bleeding may occur in a joint, such as an ankle, knee or wrist. These are common sites of traumatic injury from a car accident. Internal bleeding in a joint may cause swelling as the joint space fills up with blood. You may also experience decreased range of motion and pain.
Internal bleeding of the abdomen may occur if your mid-portion comes in contact with the steering wheel or another hard surface during an accident. You may experience nausea, vomiting or dizziness when standing. Your stool may become dark with a tarry consistency from congealed blood, or you may see a red tinge in your urine. You may have pain in the chest or abdomen, have difficulty breathing or see bruising around the navel.
However, the signs of internal abdominal bleeding do not always show up where you might expect. You may also experience bleeding from the mouth, nose or ears.
A blow to the head during a car accident can cause internal bleeding within your skull. This may cause loss of consciousness or other neurologic deficits:
- Difficulty speaking or writing
- Loss of balance
- Change in vision or hearing
- Numbness or tingling in the extremities, often only on one side
Internal bleeding in the head can also cause a severe headache that comes on suddenly.
There are other, more general signs of internal bleeding. The loss of blood may cause you to go into shock, with characteristic symptoms of weakness, lethargy, profuse sweating and rapid heart rate.