In many cases, a seat belt or airbag may save the life of the victim of a car accident. However, there are circumstances in which these life-saving mechanisms can actually be the cause of a serious injury. During the violent impact of a car accident, a seat belt or airbag can place substantial force and pressure on a victim’s chest, sometimes causing an aortic dissection. This internal injury can often go unnoticed and may result in severe injury or death.

Understanding Aortic Dissection

The aorta is a large artery that comes from the lower left chamber of the heart pumping blood so that it can reach the rest of the body. This artery travels upward, ends, and then turns downwards. The small part of this artery that bends is much weaker than the rest of the aorta. Therefore, it is much more susceptible to either tears or ruptures. When a tear develops, and layers of this artery separate, it is known as an aortic dissection.

Aortic Dissection and Car Accidents

While there are many ways a person may develop an aortic dissection, one of the more common ways is through the impact and force of a car accident. When the airbag or seat belt presses against the chest with violent force in a collision, many victims develop a tear in the isthmus section (the small part at the top of the artery that bends). It is important to note that an aortic dissection is a life-threatening emergency. The development of an aortic dissection may cause a stroke, organ failure, or even death.

Symptoms of Aortic Dissection

Following a car accident, many victims complain of pain in their chest, and these symptoms should not go without immediate medical attention. Some victims feel a sharp or stabbing pain, others feel that something is ripping inside of their chest. The pain can be felt in some cases through to the back and shoulder blades, and throughout the body. If you were the victim of a car accident and feel any kind of dizziness, nausea, fainting, difficulty speaking, difficulty walking, leg pain, pain in your chest, or any kind of symptom that resembles a stroke, you should seek immediate medical attention by visiting an emergency room. The risk of dying increases substantially for every hour a victim waits following the development of this medical condition.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today

If you were in a serious car accident and suffered an aortic dissection, you are likely facing substantial medical bills, continued medical treatments, possible additional surgeries, medication, therapies, and pain and suffering. You may not be able to return to work, resulting in lost wages due to your injuries. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Griggs Injury Law at (816) 474-0202 today to find out how we can help you build a strong personal injury case and help you get the compensation you deserve.