Massachusetts Legal Blog

What Is a Myocardial Contusion?

Injuries from automotive accidents can be debilitating. From broken bones to injured nerves, the long-term health ramifications from a crash can have a huge impact on the lives of those affected. But what happens when you injure your chest? In serious cases, the injuries to the chest can be far worse than merely broken ribs. You can even suffer a myocardial contusion. What is a myocardial contusion?

What Exactly Is a Myocardial Contusion?

A myocardial contusion, put simply, is a bruise to the heart muscle (or cardiac muscle), which can happen when the body is subjected to severe blunt force trauma. The most common causes of myocardial contusions are:

  • Head-on car accidents
  • Falling from a height of greater than 30 feet
  • Receiving chest compressions after a cardiac event (receiving CPR)

Myocardial contusions are often misidentified with myocardial contusions (also known as heart attacks). This is because they present similar symptoms, especially chest pain. Myocardial contusions are the result of a lack of blood flow to the heart muscle, as opposed to blunt force trauma.

Common Symptoms of Myocardial Contusions

As noted, the symptoms of a myocardial contusion are similar in some ways to those of a heart attack. While the symptoms may vary, depending on the severity of the injury, the most common symptoms of bruising to the heart are:

  • Sharp or extreme pain above the ribs
  • Weakness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath

Myocardial Contusion Diagnosis and Treatment

Determining if a myocardial contusion occurred is the job of an experienced healthcare professional. First, they will examine for the outward signs of a traumatic injury. This will include checking your blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing. In some cases, they will also look to see if there is any crunching sensation in or around the ribcage or abnormal chest movements during breaths.

You may also need to be subjected to additional testing, such as an X-ray or CT scan of the chest, an echocardiogram, or an electrocardiogram to monitor the function of your heart muscle.

Treatments for myocardial contusions vary, depending on the severity of the case. For minor cases, an over-the-counter pain reliever and rest may be sufficient, but for more severe cases (broken blood vessels, blood drainage, fluid buildup, or needing a pacemaker), surgery may be required.

Consult a Personal Injury Attorney at the Shapiro Law Group

Because of the danger posed by a myocardial contusion, as well as the medical costs for diagnosing and treating such an injury, if you find yourself suffering this injury as a result of an accident, you need legal representation right away.  After seeking the proper medical care, consulting a Personal Injury Attorney at the Shapiro Law Group to help you sort through the plethora of factors that need review should be your first step. In addition to medical expenses, you may be entitled to compensation for lost income and the pain and suffering you have had to endure. Call today at (339) 309-1188 for a free consultation.