Car accidents can cause a myriad of severe injuries and even death to those involved. A large number of people involved in these accidents suffer impact injuries from the force of striking a part of the car upon colliding with another vehicle. Some victims sustain fractures and cuts from broken glass or damaged and fragmented parts of a car. A few injuries that are commonly inflicted upon car accident injury victims include, but not limited to,
- Limb injuries
- Muscle strains
- Chest injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Bruised or fractured ribs
Even when a person does not feel that they have been harmed in the aftermath of an accident, experts recommend that all parties involved receive an immediate evaluation by medical professionals. A number of diagnostic exams will be administered in order to detect manifested injuries that could cause serious issues in the future. Of these tests is the important and frequently used CAT scan.
Computed Axial Tomography (CAT Scan)
A CAT scan, also known as a CT scan, is a diagnostic imaging test administered to patients to detect injuries inflicted to patients. Like the traditional x-ray, CAT scans produce various images of structures within the body, revealing the vivid details of soft tissues, bones, and muscles. With the use of small amounts of radiation, this device creates “cuts” (tomograms) that rotate around the patient's body, which provides a cross-sectional image. A complete evaluation of the body using this device displays pictures that are exponentially more clear than the pictures made with a conventional x-ray. This test is generally not provided to pregnant women due to the small exposure to radiation unless medically necessary.
Although CAT scans have multiple purposes, they are particularly useful when a doctor wishes to quickly examine patients who have sustained internal injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident or other trauma. This procedure can reveal underlying injuries and internal bleeding quickly, which has saved the lives of those whose injuries could possibly go undiagnosed without the use of a CAT scan. Doctors commonly use CT scans to detect injuries such as concussions in the aftermath of an accident.
Concussion: A concussion is a type of mild traumatic brain injury that is inflicted by a blow to the head or the body. It is caused when the brain moves around the inside of the skull. Damage from a concussion alters how the brain normally functions, causing patients to endure a wide range of symptoms. Of these symptoms, patient accounts of bad headaches, altered levels of consciousness, unconsciousness, weakness, slurred speech, and confusion are common. Most of the time, however, patients complain about simply not feeling like themselves. A concussion is one of the most common head injuries sustained by those involved in collisions. Even if the skull has not been fractured, a concussion may still occur. Sometimes concussions may pass on their own and get better within a span of three months or sooner, but, at other times, they can have lasting effects on a patient, depending on the severity of the injury. Whenever a technician is suspicious that a patient is experiencing a concussion, they use CAT scan results to confirm their concerns.
The CAT Scan Procedure
The CAT scan is a painless and non-invasive procedure that is typically conducted in a hospital or an outpatient medical facility. The scanner is shaped like a donut upright on its side. Patients are ordered to lie on their back on a narrow table that slowly moves through the donut-shaped tunnel during the procedure. A technician may advise the use of a strap, a pillow, or a head strap to keep the patient still during the procedure if necessary. While the motorized table moves into the scanner, an x-ray tube will begin to rotate around the patient. With each rotation comes a “slice,” which provides a picture of each part of a patient's body being examined. A technician remains in another room and may instruct a patient to hold their breath or to lie still to increase the quality of images. Since technology has advanced, relatively newer machines take only a few minutes to provide results. Overall on average, the whole procedure typically takes approximately 30 minutes. After the procedure, patients typically return to their normal routine unless they were given a contrast material. In this case, patients are instructed to drink as many fluids as they can to drain the contrast material from their body.
Types of CAT Scans
Aside from the traditional CAT scan mentioned above, there are a number of these scans that are utilized by technicians to examine specific parts of the body. The following is a list of variations of the device that a patient would most likely undergo in the event that they were injured in an accident.
CAT Extremities - This type of scan involves obtaining several detailed images of the upper (shoulders, arms and hands) and lower extremities (hips, knees, ankles and feet). Doctors generally decide to use this device when attempting to evaluate the source of swelling, pain, trauma, a mass, or a questionable fracture located in any of these extremities after an accident.
CAT Head - A technician would most likely administer a CAT scan to the head if someone involved in a car accident exhibits symptoms associated with head injuries. Medical professionals use this test to evaluate the degree of harm to the soft tissue and bone in the skull, detect inflammation, and identify ruptures and aneurysms.
CAT Spine - This is a scan used to directly assess and diagnose injuries inflicted to the spine. This includes measuring bone density, determining the source of back pain, and ruling out the most common spine injury experienced by patients as a result of a collision, a herniated disc.
Denver Car Accident Victim Attorney
If you have been injured in a car accident and are advised to take a CAT scan, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at Jeremy Rosenthal's office understand that the fees associated with your injuries can add up quickly, leaving you with a long list of overwhelming expenses. Call us today at (303) 825-2223 today or contact us online for a free consultation and a fighting chance to recover the damages you've accrued as a result of your accident. We look forward to advocating for you.