Lacerations Aren’t Just Minor Cuts
If you are in an accident, so-called “major” injuries are probably first and foremost on your mind. Broken bones or head injuries are what most people have fear of. People tend to think of lacerations as simply “cuts” or superficial wounds that cause a little pain, and then heal. But lacerations can be very serious injuries.
Types of Lacerations
Lacerations don’t just happen when the skin is cut—although in many kinds of accidents, that happens pretty commonly. Lacerations can also happen when the following forces and impacts are put on the skin:
Being stretched – Sometimes, the skin will tear when it is stretched past its elasticity threshold. This can happen when a force is pulling on your skin, such as when an object lands on your arm but your body pulls the other way, or when a part of your body gets trapped or wedged in or under a part of your vehicle in your car.
Degloving – If your skin scrapes against pavement, hopefully, you only end up with scrapes. But in more severe cases, the skin comes off, almost like a glove would come off of your hand. The skin is peeled back off of the limb. This can also happen when a part of you, say a finger, becomes “trapped” somewhere, as your body is pulling or being forced in the opposite direction
Splits – The skin can also be torn when a part of your body is crushed under a strong enough force.
Risks of Severe Laceration Injuries
The initial concern with lacerations is excess bleeding. As you can likely tell, many of these injuries are quite serious. Excess blood loss can put your body into shock, which can be life threatening. If blood is spurting out of a wound, it is a sign that an artery or vein may have been affected, and you must get medical care immediately.
Additionally severe lacerations can also cause nerve damage or nerve loss. Victims may experience the permanent loss of feeling or use of limbs or muscles that suffer severe enough laceration injuries. Unfortunately, this is common in car accidents, where faces tend to be smashed against the interior of vehicles.
If not treated properly, a victim’s wound can develop an infection. The warmth and moisture created by the bandages we put on lacerations, can be breeding grounds for infection.
This is another reason to get medical help immediately for major lacerations. Not all wounds can be immediately simply stitched up; lacerations may need to be packed and repacked on a regular basis. Even if you believe your laceration to be manageable, if infection sets in, it can lead to loss of a limb, or even death.
Scarring is also common, and that is not a frivolous or aesthetic concern. Severe scarring can not only affect the use of a limb, but also someone’s psyche.
No injury in an accident should be considered minor. Get medical and legal help right away after any kind of accident. Call the Knoxville personal injury attorneys at Fox Willis Burnette, PLLC, for help today.