One of the effects of being in a car crash that many people aren’t aware of is the possibility of going into a state of shock. The whole experience of the crash can be both psychologically and physically jarring. While psychological shock typically fades in a few hours following the accident, physical shock can cause serious medical issues, including death, if not recognized and addressed.
Types of Shock Following a Virginia Car Crash
The four most common types of shock a car accident victim can suffer are:
- Hypovolemic Shock: This is the most frequent type of shock that can affect a car accident victim who is quickly losing blood. When there is a decreased flow of oxygen-rich blood, the heart rate increases, causing in shallow and faster breathing. Because there is a lack of blood flow, organs begin shutting down, potentially causing permanent damage.
- Cardiogenic Shock: This is another frequent type of shock and results when the car accident victim suffers a heart attack. The victim can experience rapid heart rate, chest pain, breathing trouble, and pale skin.
- Neurogenic Shock: When a car accident victim suffers an injury to the central nervous system – such as a spinal cord injury – they can suffer from neurogenic shock. Their heart rate can slow down and blood pressure drops to dangerous levels.
- Septic Shock: Any type of serious infection car result in septic shock. Septic shock can cause the body’s system to just shut down when it is trying to fight off the infection. If septic shock is not treated, there is a high risk of death.
Symptoms of Shock
The following tips can help ease car accident psychological shock symptoms:
- Try to slow your breathing and breathe as normal as possible. If you feel light-headed, sit down and lean your head between your legs.
- Drink water. Stress hormones are tough on the body and the fluids will help flush excess toxins.
- Stretch. This will help relax your muscles and could prevent muscle soreness later.
- Take a bath. The warmth will help you relax.
- Talk to a loved one or friend about the accident. Talking about the accident can be therapeutic.
- If possible, eat a light and healthy meal a few hours after the crash. You should have calmed down enough for your digestive system to handle a light meal. Carbs and protein combo will help your blood sugar levels get back to where they should be.
- Get a good night’s sleep. The more you sleep and rest, the faster your recovery can be.
If a loved one has been in a crash, watch for the following symptoms which can indicate shock:
- Chest pain
- Cold, clammy skin
- Enlarged pupils
- Excessive sweating
- Fast, shallow breathing
- High blood pressure
- Loss of consciousness
- Pale skin
- Rapid heart rate
If your loved one is going into physical shock, then take the following steps:
- Lay them down and elevate their legs and feet slightly, unless this could cause pain or further injury.
- Keep them still and don’t move them unless necessary.
- Loosen tight clothing and, if needed, cover them with a blanket to prevent chills.
- Don’t let them eat or drink anything.
- If they begin to vomit or bleed from their mouth, turn them onto their side to prevent choking unless you suspect a spinal injury. Do not move a spinal injury victim.
- Begin CPR if they no signs of life, such as breathing, coughing, moaning or moving.
Let a Virginia Car Accident Attorney Help
If you have been injured in a car accident, not only to you have to deal with the physical and emotional effects of the accident, but you are likely dealing with the financial consequences, as well. Injured victims often have high medical bills as a result of the treatments their injuries require. Depending on how serious those injuries are, recovery typically includes staying out of work until the injuries have healed. This means no weekly paycheck for many victims.
If the crash was caused by another party who behaved recklessly or negligently, Virginia allows victims to take legal action in order to be financially compensated for all of these financial expenses. Victims can also pursue damages for losses that are not economic, such as pain and suffering, scarring emotional anguish, and more.
If you would like to discuss your situation, contact our office to speak with an experienced Virginia car accident attorney. Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn has been advocating for accident victims for more than three decades and will work diligently to get you the compensation you deserve.