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Monday, January 14, 2013

Signs and Symptoms of Internal Bleeding

Picture Credit: http://cheezburger.com/2496274176

This one is a little more serious than others of my Random Research postings, but it wasn't until I was writing a scene that I realized I knew less about internal bleeding than I thought.

Don't get me wrong, I took biology classes in college--and I've seen my share of "ER" television shows--so I thought I knew at least some about this topic. But when it came time to describe what a character was going through, I realized I was a little rusty.

Thank heavens for Medicinenet and EMS World! In no time, I read up on the signs and symptoms of internal bleeding. Of course, it matters where in the body a person is bleeding. I specifically looked at the chest and abdominal cavities, but look at the links I provided above for more information.

Depending on the severity, internal bleeding in the abdominal cavity can be accompanied by:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Weakness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Shock
  • Decreased Blood Pressure
  • Vomit that is either bright red or the color of coffee grounds
  • Bowel movements that are bloody or black and tarry

Depending on the severity, internal bleeding in the chest can be accompanied by:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Rib Fractures
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Rapid Breathing
  • Skin that is pale, cool, clammy, and blue
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Altered Mental Status
  • Over-expansion of the chest wall
  • Drop in pulse

I don't know about you, but these lists sure make me feel lucky that the worst internal bleeding I've ever had to complain about are a few bruises when I occasionally do something stupid!

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