If you’re experiencing chest pains or arrhythmic heart beats after a traumatic incident or a vehicle collision, you may have a cardiac contusion. It’s recommended to have any chest pains or other injuries assessed and diagnosed by your doctor immediately.
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What is a Cardiac Contusion?
A cardiac contusion, also called a myocardial contusion, literally means a bruised heart. It is somewhat generic in scope, and not a specific diagnosis one one particular problem or condition. The details of the diagnosis are going to depend on the nature of the injury, its cause, and any other chest injuries that may be present, such as fractured ribs or collapsed lungs. The right ventricle is the most commonly affected area of the heart, due to it’s proximity to the chest wall.
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What Causes A Cardiac Contusion?
As you might imagine, bruising your heart is not something that is easy to do, and is very often a result of a severe and traumatic injury. The most common causes of a cardiac contusion are car accidents, motorcycle accidents, CPR, or falling from a great height, typically more than 20 feet. The severe impacts involved in these types of accidents causes our internal organs to shift within our bodies, and collide against our rib cage, something intended to protect our organs, not damage them.
What are Symptoms of a Cardiac Contusion?
Cardiac contusions may not show any outward symptoms at all. If symptoms are show, they may be dangerous and possibly life threatening. Irregular heart beats (arrhythmia) and cardiac arrest (heart attacks) are both possible signs that you may have a myocardial contusion. Because of the severity and risk associated with these symptoms, it’s very important you see a doctor immediately should they present themselves after a traumatic accident.
How is a Cardiac Contusion Diagnosed?
Diagnosing a cardiac contusion is very difficult, and often involves many tests. As cardiac contusion are often associated with severe impacts or collisions, it’s likely to have other injuries to the chest or abdominal cavity, making some of these test more challenging, or even impossible due to added risk. Some of the test that may be used to diagnose a myocardial contusion include:
- ECG, or electrocardiogram – used to measure the electrical and muscular functions of the heart using sensors connected to adhesive pads attached to the skin.
- Biochemical Cardiac Markers – Chemicals and enzymes within our blood are measured and analyzed in order to gauge the hearts health and ambien performance.
- Transthoracic and Transoesophageal Echocardiography – Sound waves are used to map and image he shape, movement, and rhythm of heart, either from the surface of the chest, or from a probe inserted down the esophagus.
- Radionuclide Imaging – A small amount a of radioactive chemical is injected into the blood stream and tracked by a body scan as it flows through the blood stream and into the heart.
How is a Cardiac Contusion Treated?
Each individual case will be handled differently, in conjunction with any other injuries sustained in the traumatic event. More often than not, simple in-hospital monitor is required in order to respond to the possibility of sudden cardiac arrest or aneurysm. In the most sever cases hemodynamic stabilization, a process by which blood is pumped artificially by a machine, might be necessary.
Long term problems may arise as a result of the healing process. As scar tissue develops, it may lead to decreased blood flow, causing an aneurysm or myocardial infarction, better known as a heart attack.
If you or a loved one has suffered a cardiac contusion as a result of someone else’s negligence and would like to discuss your legal options with an experienced Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney, contact us today for a free consultation.