TV bombards the airwaves with medical dramas where all sorts of scary medical terminology is thrown at us. But, when one gets into an actual accident and starts to encounter these terms on their own medical charts…thats when the real drama begins. It is important to hire an attorney who understands what these terms mean, and their implications. Our injured clients hire us, not only because they want someone who will vigorously fight for the compensation they justly deserve, but also because they are seeking guidance and clarity in the confusion that surrounds someone after they have been in an accident.
This injury blog post will start with some basics:
Abrasion: As a kid, you had these all the time whether you were learning how to roller skate or playing sports. Abrasions occur when only the top layer of skin comes off – usually from sliding on a rough surface. When you had a skinned knee or scraped elbow, you had an abrasion.
Contusion: What we know as a bruise – essentially a minor hematoma where the blood only collects just below the surface of the skin. When the bruise is severe enough, it will be referred to as a hematoma. Otherwise, a contusion is just another word for a black-and-blue mark. Contusions come from blunt-force trauma that may not cut into the skin.
Hematoma/Haematoma: this is a collection of blood (outside of blood vessels, where blood is supposed to stay), that collects or pools in tissue underneath the skin – from a hemorrhage. Hematomas usually arise within a muscle.
Hemorrhage: refers to any flow of blood outside of the normal circulatory system (blood vessels). Internal bleeding is a hemorrhage that occurs inside the body. Some examples:
- Pulmonary Hemorrhage: refers to blood loss inside the respitory tract or lungs.
- Intracranial Hemorrhage: refers to blood loss inside the skull when there is a rupture of a blood vessel within the skull.
- Cerebral/Intracerebral Hemorrhage (also referred to as an intra-axial hemorrhage): refers to bleeding within brain tissue – can arise spontaneously or via some kind of trauma.
Internal bleeding is generally the result of traumatic injury and will become serious when blood pools inside the body and start to create pressure against vital organs.
External Bleeding: refers to bleeding that occurs through a natural opening in the body (i.e. nose, ear, mouth, genitals) or through an opening created in the skin (i.e. cut, puncture / laceration).
Laceration: refers to a tear in the skin. Lacerations may be a result of blunt trauma or an incision (such as cutting oneself with a knife).