Auto accidents are a common occurrence that happens everyday around the world. In fact, they occur so often that car insurance industries estimate that the average driver will file a claim for a collision at least once over a span of 20 years. About 10 million accidents happen every year, resulting in injuries that range from minor to debilitating. A few common types of injuries that could be inflicted in a car accident include:
- Chest injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Head injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Limb injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Bruised or fractured ribs
- Muscle strains
When a person is involved in a collision, they are encouraged to still be examined by a licensed medical professional. Even if all parties feel fine and walk away from a wreck seemingly unscathed, it's recommended they undergo diagnostic tests to rule out the possibility of any underlying issues. Of these tests is the Electrocardiogram, also known as an EKG.
An EKG is a cardiovascular test that may be provided when a patient experiences symptoms of shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, fainting or an irregular heartbeat in the aftermath of an accident. It assesses the electrical behavior of each chamber of the heart by measuring a time interval of a patient's heartbeats. As conducted in either a doctor's office, clinic or hospital room, the test dictates details regarding how fast or slow the heart is beating, if the heart's rhythm is steady, and the strength of the electrical impulses passing through each chamber of the heart. EKG test findings are presented as spikes and dips either on paper or on a screen - these are commonly known as waves. Doctors are provided with results almost immediately after conducting a test.
An EKG test is especially beneficial in circumstances when symptoms from an accident latently emerge. The test is capable of identifying changes in the heart's conductivity over time, which will help a physician select a method of treatment in accordance with a patient's cardiac damage. In cases where a patient has been injured in a car accident, EKG's are commonly used to diagnose internal organ injuries such as cardiac contusions and arrhythmia.
Cardiac contusions: A cardiac contusion, also known as a myocardial contusion, is one of the most concerning complications of a motor vehicle accident. It occurs when a person experiences blunt trauma to the anterior chest wall, which causes the heart muscle and myocardial tissue to become bruised and damaged. Cardiac contusions may be inflicted due to a series of circumstances when involved in an accident, but it's commonly diagnosed when injured patients were not wearing a seatbelt in a high-speed crash, or were harmed by the force of an air bag or due to the lack of an airbag. The degree of severity for the infliction of a cardiac contusion ranges from mild to fatally severe. If the contusion is mild, the patient is capable of recovering completely with the proper treatments (pain medicine, catheter placement, temporary pacemaker etc.) in a matter of weeks. However, if the contusion is severe, a patient's risk for heart failure or ongoing heart rhythm complications is exponentially increased. EKG test findings predict cardiac contusions through changes in waves.
Arrhythmia: Arrhythmias are any changes from the normal sequence of electrical impulses in the heart, causing irregular heart rhythms. If a person's heart beats too rapidly, too slowly or in a pattern that isn't considered normal, they are experiencing an arrhythmia. It can be diagnosed as completely harmless or life-threatening. But in severe cases, it is a major contributor in the development of conditions such as strokes and heart failure. This condition is closely associated with cardiac contusions, and can be easily identified by an EKG test.
EKG's are typically quick and painless. When conducted, patients are required to remove their clothes and wear a gown. A technician will attach 12 to 15 soft electrodes with sticking gel to a patient's arms, legs, and chest. These electrodes are round and comparable to the size of a quarter. They are attached to wires, which are connected to the EKG machine. During the procedure, patients are instructed to lie still on a table and breathe normally while the machine records their heart's electrical behavior. It will then sketch its findings onto a graph that will display on a screen. After the test, the electrodes are removed and discarded. Overall, an EKG takes approximately 10 minutes to conduct.
Types of EKGs
Besides the standard EKG described above, a doctor may recommend injured car accident victims other variations:
Holter monitor - This type of EKG is used for ambulatory purposes. It records a patient's heart activity over the course of 24 to 48 hours, while a patient documents their actions within the same period of testing. This test is administered when symptoms aren't easily detectable.
Event monitor - Doctor's suggest type of EKG if exhibit symptoms of heart issues occasionally and don't need around-the-clock care. It requires patients attach portable electrodes and push a button when symptoms emerge.
Compensation for Treatment Costs
If you have sustained an injury that requires you to undergo an EKG test as a result of a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for medical treatments. Pursuing a medical claim is the first step in recovering the damages for medical expenses and lost wages garnered through the process of recovery. Wages lost from missing work, hospital admittance fees or any other costs accrued from your injury can be returned to you with the help of a qualified attorney.
Denver Car Accident Victim Attorney
We at Jeremy Rosenthal's law office sympathize with the injured who have been involved in car accidents. Medical expenses for diagnostic testing, procedures, and admittance can be costly and may create a long list of fees that you may not be able to afford. Contact us today at (303) 825-2223 today for a consultation and a chance at recovering the damages that you seek.