A common complaint following an auto collision is of chest pain. There are a number of reasons why a car wreck can cause chest pain, ranging from extremely serious to a mild injury. The most common cause of chest pain is pressure and bruising from the restraint of the seatbelt. A seatbelt can cause simple bruising but it can also cause broken ribs. A fractured rib can cause pain in the chest or rib area, pain when taking a breath or a sharp stabbing feeling with movement.
Abdominal injuries can also result in chest pain. Trauma to the abdomen can result in damage to the spleen, liver, aorta, and kidneys. These injuries require immediate testing because they can cause internal bleeding and are potentially fatal. Even though the injury is to an organ in the abdomen, the sensation is one of lower chest pain and can represent a true emergency.
Lung injuries can also occur during an auto collision. Broken ribs or any penetration of the chest can cause a pneumothorax where air escapes from a hole in the lungs. The result is air in the chest that can result in collapse of the lung.
The most serious cause of chest pain is injury to the heart muscle. The trauma of a collision can cause a heart attack. The chest striking the steering wheel or dash can cause bruising of the heart muscle. Because a contusion of the heart muscle can lead to abnormal heart beat or a heart attack, complaints of chest pain – even minor chest pain – should be reported to the law enforcement officer responding to the scene of the collision. This complaint should result in emergency medical care and appropriate treatment.
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury as a result of a car wreck and would like more information about the personal injury claims process, you can request a free copy of Mike’s book, Kansas & Missouri Auto Accident Victim’s Guidebook, by clicking here or you can call Mike for a free consultation at 913-789-7477.