A variety of traumatic events, like car accidents, can happen to us at any time. It’s during these instances we often have little control over what’s happening. When faced with such trauma, our bodies and minds may sustain serious injuries and suffer both physically and mentally.
One of the most severe and often invisible injuries is shock. The body can go into either medical or psychological shock, or both. If left untreated, shock victims can experience life-threatening complications.
Medical Shock Versus Psychological Shock
Medical shock is a life-threatening medical emergency. It happens when the body isn’t receiving sufficient blood flow. The most common symptoms of shock include low blood pressure, rapid and shallow breathing, a weak pulse, cold and clammy skin, dizziness, and fainting. Generally, the low blood pressure causes the other symptoms listed. If the shock isn’t treated immediately the consequences may result in hypoxia (the lack of oxygen in the body’s tissues), cardiac arrest, or organ damage. Those three conditions can all result in death.
There are three types of physical shock the body is likely to enter after a severe car accident.
- Cardiogenic shock occurs when the heart is damaged to the point it cannot supply blood to the rest of the body. Only one-third of patients survive this condition.
- Hypovolemic shock happens when the heart is unable to pump blood throughout the body because of severe blood and fluid loss. Generally, patients experiencing this type of shock respond well to treatment and recover.
- In the event of a spinal cord injury, the body may enter neurogenic shock. There are few effective treatments for this condition and the prognosis is usually poor.
Psychological shock is a condition that manifests after a traumatic event and often challenges a person’s coping abilities. The symptoms of mental shock can be separated into five categories:
- Cognitive – nightmares, confusion, flashbacks
- Behavioral – loss of enjoyment, socially withdrawing
- Psychological – fear, numbness, anger, anxiety, guilt, shame, denial
- Physical – heart palpitations, insomnia, fatigue
Damage to a person’s psyche can be difficult to overcome. The treatment for psychological shock often involves some form of therapy like cognitive behavior therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, or adjunct therapies.
If you’ve begun your recovery process after a car accident, you may be experiencing financial burdens and uncertainty. If you’re considering seeking legal representation in an attempt to hold the negligent party responsible for your suffering, our Lexington, KY car accident lawyer is ready to help. Contact us today.