When people think of workplace injuries, they often imagine external wounds, such as cuts, bruises or broken limbs. However, internal injuries can occur that might only show up much later due to delayed symptoms.
Unfortunately, these injuries can cause long-term health complications or even death. Workers should be aware of the causes and signs of organ failure to get prompt treatment after an accident.
1. Major physical trauma
The most apparent cause of internal injuries is major physical trauma. For example, if a worker falls from height or gets hit by heavy machinery, it can cause internal bleeding and damage to organs. It can also result in the detachment of organs which, in turn, can shut down organ function.
Symptoms might not show up until hours or even days after the incident. Therefore, workers should seek medical attention immediately after a sudden blow or fall to determine if there is any risk of internal injury.
2. Toxic injury and sepsis
Working in certain industries, such as manufacturing or construction, puts employees at risk of toxic exposure to chemicals, fumes or gases. Toxic exposure can lead to organ damage, and sometimes the effects can be fatal. Common symptoms of toxic exposure include nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness or respiratory difficulties.
Furthermore, exposure to certain bacteria can lead to sepsis. Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs due to the body’s extreme response to an infection, causing widespread inflammation that can lead to organ failure and even death. Unfortunately, over 300,000 patients required treatment for sepsis in California hospitals in 2022, and about 16% of those patients died.
3. Loss of oxygen supply or blood
Organ failure can also occur due to a loss of oxygen or blood. This can happen due to a variety of reasons, such as prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures, respiratory problems or cardiac arrest. The lack of oxygen can cause damage to vital organs such as the brain, liver or kidneys. Symptoms such as fatigue, confusion or shortness of breath can indicate low oxygen levels, requiring immediate medical attention.
An incident that might not seem serious could cause great difficulties below the surface. Workers who suffer an accident at their workplace should be aware of the causes and signs of organ failure to get quick treatment that prevents additional complications.