Lacerations Are Serious Injuries
Compared to other types of injuries, it’s easy to think of cuts or lacerations as relatively minor. But laceration injuries can be very serious and even debilitating.
How Lacerations Happen
Lacerations often happen in accidents; they may be the only injury suffered, or they may accompany other types of injuries. Certainly, lacerations happen when the skin is rubbed against something sharp, but they can also happen whenever there is pressure on the skin, or when the skin is stretched so much that it breaks open.
For example, people may find, if they have a finger or arm trapped in something like a closing car door, or wedged between a heavy item and the ground, or when a finger gets caught in a closing door, that the skin will tear. Even the force of, for example, being pushed into your steering wheel in a major car accident, can cause abdominal lacerations. People can suffer lacerations in a fall as their falling body hits items around them or the ground underneath.
Remember that lacerations are three dimensional–in other words, severity is not just measured in how deep a laceration is. A relatively shallow laceration can be very serious, if it is wide, or rips off or into a large swatch of skin–likewise, a seemingly small looking laceration can be serious, if it goes deep into the tissue, arteries and nerves below.
In very serious accidents, the skin can actually tear completely off of a finger or other part of the body. This is called a degloving injury.
Risks of Serious Lacerations
In a major accident, where there is degloving, or any other type of laceration, the most serious immediate concern can be shock from loss of blood. When arteries or veins are severed, the bleeding can be immediate and severe if medical treatment is not immediately available.
As a wound heals, infection can set in. This is especially dangerous in older people, or people with underlying conditions, such as diabetes.
Major lacerations can cause lifelong disability, even after they heal. That’s because the scar tissue that forms where the laceration was, is often not as flexible or malleable, as the original skin was. Scar tissue can pull and ache, causing lifelong pain where the laceration heals.
Major lacerations can also sever nerves, which can in turn lead to a loss of feeling or sensation wherever the laceration happens. Multiple surgeries may be needed, to either restore feeling, restore flexibility, or both. That is in addition to the surgeries that may be needed to restore the area cosmetically.
The visual effects of scarring are not just vanity; some people who may rely in full or in part on appearance as part of their jobs, may also have a significant claim for loss of future wages, if scarring threatens to impact their ability to work in their field in the future.
If you are a victim of an accident, contact the Boston personal injury lawyers at The Law Office of Joseph Linnehan Jr. for help. Call us today at 617-275-4200.