Stephen Hasner | Bicycle Accidents | January 5, 2023
Your head is not the only body part at risk of serious injury in a bicycle accident. Other injuries may include a ruptured spleen — a potentially fatal injury that requires immediate medical attention.
Just as bicyclists should protect their heads with helmets, so should you protect yourself against a ruptured spleen by arming yourself with information.
Knowing the risk factors and signs of a spleen injury can help you determine whether you have injured this critical organ in a bike accident. This knowledge can also help you know when you should go to the emergency room.
The Spleen and Its Functions
The spleen may be a small organ, but its role in maintaining your health cannot be overstated. Located near your stomach on the left side of your rib cage, your spleen is responsible for filtering blood and creating white blood cells. These white blood cells are critical to your body’s efforts to fight infection.
How the Spleen Suffers Trauma in a Bike Accident
Despite the protection afforded by the rib cage, the spleen is susceptible to injury. If you suffer trauma to the left side of your abdomen or lower left chest, there is a chance that such trauma can affect your spleen. The greater the trauma, the greater the risk of serious damage to your spleen.
Motor vehicle accidents and sporting injuries are two of the most common ways people sustain spleen trauma.
If your spleen is already enlarged, there is an increased risk of suffering significant harm to your spleen, even in accidents that cause a lower amount of trauma.
Bicycle accidents can lead to a spleen injury if you fall off your bicycle and land on your left side. If you strike a fixed object, such as your bike’s handlebars, this, too, can inflict trauma on your spleen. Unfortunately, there is no widely-available bicycling safety gear to protect your spleen.
Ruptured Spleen: Signs, Symptoms, and Risks
A ruptured spleen is a spleen that has burst open. It is a medical emergency and requires immediate care at a hospital. The signs and symptoms suggesting your spleen has ruptured may not appear right away, though. It can take days or weeks, in some cases, before you begin noticing any signs or symptoms.
Therefore, it is crucial that you monitor yourself for indications of a ruptured spleen following a bicycle accident.
You should proceed to your local emergency room for treatment if you notice any of the following signs and symptoms:
- Pain that is spread out across the abdomen and radiates up toward your left shoulder
- Low blood pressure and a fast heart rate
- Tenderness in your abdomen, especially in the upper left side
- Blurry vision, confusion, and a change in your mental state
When your spleen has ruptured, blood from the spleen begins to pour into your abdominal cavity. The longer you delay getting treatment for a ruptured spleen, the greater the danger that your injury will be fatal.
Outlook for Recovery from a Ruptured Spleen
Your prognosis from a ruptured spleen will depend primarily on how quickly you obtain medical treatment. You may require surgery to correct a ruptured spleen, or your spleen may require removal in a procedure called a splenectomy.
In milder cases, where the spleen has been injured but not yet ruptured, rest may be sufficient for the damage to heal.
It can take you anywhere from 3 to 12 weeks to heal from a spleen injury, depending on the treatment required to address your ruptured spleen.
An Atlanta Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You File a Claim After Suffering a Ruptured Spleen
If you ruptured your spleen due to someone’s negligence, an Altlanta bicycle accident attorney will help you fight for fair compensation. Most offer a free consultation, so don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance.
Contact the Atlanta Bicycle Accident Lawyers at Hasner Law, P.C. For Help
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