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Injuries that can result in organ damage

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

Work-related injuries do not just involve visible cuts or bruises. Workers can also suffer internal damage with life-altering consequences. One such type of injury is organ damage.

Sadly, this kind of harm can cause lasting health problems or, in the worst cases, death. Workers need to know what can lead to organ damage and common symptoms to get appropriate help soon after an injury.

Poisoning or sepsis

Chemical poisoning can harm organs by disrupting their normal functions. These substances might enter the body through ingestion, inhalation or skin contact. At that point, they can damage organs like the liver, kidneys or lungs.

Symptoms vary, depending on the type and amount of chemical exposure, but often include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, difficulty breathing and skin irritation. In some cases, long-term effects can occur, including chronic organ damage or even failure.

Another danger is sepsis, which is a severe response to infection. This can lead to organ damage by triggering inflammation throughout the body. When the immune system overreacts to an infection, it can harm organs like the kidneys, liver and lungs. Common symptoms are fever, rapid heart rate, confusion, difficulty breathing and low blood pressure. Without prompt treatment, sepsis can progress to septic shock, causing vital organs to fail.

Severe heat illness

Heat illness happens when the body overheats due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures or strenuous activity. When the body’s cooling mechanisms fail, the brain, heart and kidneys can sustain injury.

Common symptoms of heat illness include excessive sweating, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea and confusion. In severe cases, heatstroke can occur. Consequently, organ failure and death might result.

Heat-related organ damage can result from dehydration, electrolyte imbalances and the body’s inability to regulate temperature effectively. Moving to a cooler environment and hydrating are immediate measures one can take to minimize the harm. Medical assistance will also be necessary.

Major physical trauma

Major physical trauma can cause organ damage by directly impacting or injuring vital organs within the body. For example, a severe blow to the abdomen or chest can result in damage to organs like the liver, spleen, lungs or kidneys.

Common symptoms of an internal injury include severe pain in the affected area, swelling, bruising, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. In some cases, internal bleeding may occur, leading to fainting, rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure or signs of shock like pale skin and clamminess. Prompt evaluation after an accident can uncover if any underlying damage has occurred.

Even small accidents can result in major internal issues. Workers who get hurt on the job should watch for signs of organ damage or failure. If they notice any symptoms, they should get treatment right away.