In the United States, injuries sustained in slip and fall accidents send more than one million people to the emergency room each year. Though fractures, bumps, and bruises are the most common injuries related to slips and falls, these injuries can actually lead to something more sinister—the development of potentially deadly blood clots.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) are two of the most dangerous types of blood clots. DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein in an arm or leg, while PE occurs when a DVT clot breaks free and travels to a lung. Known together as venous thromboembolism, or VTE, DVT and PE blood clots affect as many as 900,000 Americans each year and kill approximately 100,000 people annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
If you developed a serious blood clot after a slip-and-fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Here's what you need to know.
Slip and Fall Victims Are Prone to Blood Clots
Slip and fall accidents often result in injuries to the legs or tailbone which, in turn, may require restricted movement during the recovery process. Unfortunately, reducing mobility makes the victim even more likely to develop blood clots.
Slip and fall victims are also more prone to the development of blood clots because of the types of injuries sustained in a slip and fall incident. When a blood vessel is damaged due to broken bones, blunt force trauma, severe bruises or significant muscle injuries, the blood around the vessel can become sticky and form a clot. These clots do not necessarily show up immediately, but may occur several days or weeks later.
Minor Injuries Can Lead to Major Issues
Even if a slip and fall seems relatively minor, it can still have serious consequences on a victim's health. The injuries sustained don't have to be severe in order to raise the victim's risk of developing a blood clot. The results of a 2008 study found that as many as one in three blood clots were related to seemingly insignificant problems like ankle sprains, muscle tears, or bruises.
Symptoms Associated With Deep Vein Thrombosis
DVTs can be difficult for slip and fall victims to catch early, as they may cause no noticeable symptoms or be mistaken for less serious conditions, such as shin splints, a Charley horse, or twisted ankle. Regardless, slip and fall victims should keep an eye out for symptoms such as:
- Swelling of an injured arm or leg
- Feelings of warmth
- Pain, tenderness, or cramping
- Red or discolored skin
- Prominent, visible veins
Symptoms Associated With Pulmonary Embolism
When a deep-vein blood clot breaks free and makes its way to a lung, a slip and fall victim can experience a life-threatening PE. Symptoms of a blood clot in the lungs include:
- Coughing up blood
- Chest pain
- Rapid heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing
- Painful breathing
Blood Clots: Who's Most at Risk?
Slip and fall victims are not the only ones at an increased risk of developing blood clots. People who are older, pregnant, or overweight; who have cancer, a vein disease, blood-clotting disorder, or a close family member with VTE; or who use cigarettes, birth control pills, or hormone replacement therapies are more likely to develop VTE than younger, healthier people, according to WebMD.
Additionally, people who've had a previous DVT or PE are more likely to experience a life-threatening VTE in the future. In fact, research from the CDC shows that 3 in 10 people diagnosed with a blood clot will face a subsequent VTE incident within 10 years.
Do You Need a Knowledgeable Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga?
If you were injured in a slip-and-fall accident and then went on to develop life-threatening blood clots, you may be eligible to seek a financial recovery for both injuries. The skilled slip and fall attorneys with the Inland Empire Law Group can help you explore your legal options and pursue every possible avenue for compensation. Contact the Inland Empire Law Group today at (888) 694-3529 to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation.