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What are the causes and symptoms of internal bleeding?

Internal bleeding can result from any type of serious physical injury. Since it's not always possible to see, it's important to understand the most common causes and symptoms.

Generally speaking, internal bleeding is caused by:

  • Blunt force trauma: This occurs when a body party collides with an object with great force. For example, a large piece of equipment striking you on a job site. When this happens, blood vessels can be crushed or torn, resulting in internal bleeding.
  • Penetrating trauma: If an object penetrates the body, such as a power tool, blood vessels can suffer damage.

There are times when an injury is so obvious that internal bleeding is suspected; however, this is not always the case. The most common symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain: This is associated with any bleeding in the area of the spleen or liver.
  • Purple skin: As blood begins to escape, your skin may turn a deep shade of purple
  • Dizziness: Once enough blood is lost, dizziness will set in. It's possible that you'll even faint.
  • Headache or seizure: If there is internal bleeding in the brain, a headache and/or seizure is likely. This can also lead to loss of consciousness.

Any type of internal bleeding, regardless of the severity, is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.

If you suffered a workplace injury that resulted in internal bleeding, let your employer know what happened as time allows. Once you receive treatment and have a plan in place for making a recovery, consider if you're in a position to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits.

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