Your throat is a crucial part of your body that can seriously inhibit your breathing ability if it becomes injured during a car accident. If you are having difficulty breathing or believe you’ve injured your throat after a car accident, you should seek medical attention right away. Today, we take a look at some of the signs, symptoms and treatment options for throat injuries after a car accident.
Throat Injury Basics
There are two forms of throat injuries that typically occur during an auto accident: blunt trauma and penetrating trauma.
- Blunt Trauma: Blunt Trauma to the throat can cause injuries to numerous areas, like your trachea, esophagus, spine and brain stem. Additionally, blunt force trauma can affect areas near the throat, like the neck, spine and brain.
- Penetrating Trauma: Penetrating trauma is typically more severe, as an object has penetrated into the throat. This can cause bleeding and extensive damage if any major arteries or veins are hit.
The reason the throat is susceptible to injury in a car crash is because unlike other parts of the body, your throat does not have any bones for protection, like the organs housed behind your rib cage. It’s a delicate area that can be damaged easily in a wreck.
Symptoms of a Throat Injury
Some symptoms of a throat injury include:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Taste of blood in the mouth
- Coughing up blood
- Rapid breathing
- Noisy/Wheezing breathing
- Difficulty Swallowing
- Swelling in the area
Any of these symptoms are a sign of a serious injury, and you should contact your healthcare professional right away.
Treatment of Throat Injuries
The first thing a doctor will do if you have experienced a throat injury is ensure your airway is unobstructed. Sometimes this is done by placing a tube down your throat, other times a small incision will be made to allow air to flow in and out of your lungs.
Once your doctor is satisfied that you can breath, they’ll start to work on the bleeding. If blood is pooling inside your body, it can be deadly. Doctors will stop the bleeding with pressure and sutures.
After the bleeding has stopped, the surgeon will go to work on the damaged area. The operation you receive is determined by your exact injury. For example, an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor may perform surgery to repair damaged vocal cords, but an orthopedic surgeon may be called in if you suffer a cervical spine injury.
In all, the throat is a very sensitive area that requires immediate attention if damaged during a car accident. If you are having difficulty breathing after an auto accident, don’t just hope it will get better on its own. Swing into an injury center right away.