Internal Bleeding

Inside the body when blood leaks from blood vessels or organs

Internal bleeding is one of the most major effects of trauma. Usually, the bleeding results from apparent injuries that need quick medical attention. Internal bleeding might also happen after a less severe injury or be postponed by hours or days. Some internal bleeding due to injury stops by itself. If the bleeding continues or is severe, surgery is required to fix it.


Internal bleeding might take place after any significant physical injury. There are two primary types of trauma, and either may cause internal bleeding:

  • Blunt injury. This kind of injury happens when a body part hits something else, normally at high speed. Capillary inside the body are torn or squashed either by shear forces or a blunt item. Examples are cars and truck accidents, physical attacks, and falls.
  • Penetrating injury. This occurs when a foreign things penetrates the body, tearing a hole in one or more blood vessels. Examples are gunshot injuries, stabbings, or falling onto a sharp object.

Almost any organ or blood vessel can be harmed by trauma and cause internal bleeding. The most severe sources of internal bleeding due to injury are:

  • Head trauma with internal bleeding (intracranial hemorrhage).
  • Bleeding around the lungs (hemothorax).
  • Bleeding around the heart (hemopericardium and cardiac tamponade).
  • Tears in the big blood vessels near the center of the body (aorta, remarkable and inferior vena cava, and their significant branches).
  • Damage triggered by injury to the abdominal areas such as liver or spleen lacerations or perforation of other organs.

Do You Know…

Internal bleeding is major for two factors: the excess blood can compress organs and cause their dysfunction (as can occur in hematoma) when the bleeding does not stop spontaneously, the loss of blood will cause hemorrhagic shock, which can result in mental retardation and death.


In the big bulk of cases of internal bleeding that arises from injury, the injury is apparent and severe. People naturally seek instant medical assistance since of pain. Or witnesses call 911.

Sometimes, internal bleeding might occur after a less severe trauma. As the bleeding continues, symptoms appear and steadily become worse. Symptoms depend on the kind of injury and what body part was involved. For instance:.

  • Abdominal pain and/or swelling can be triggered by Internal bleeding from injury in the liver or spleen. These symptoms get worse as the bleeding continues.
  • Light-headedness, dizziness, or fainting can arise from any source of internal bleeding once adequate blood is lost.
  • A big area of deeply purple skin (called ecchymosis) can arise from bleeding into the skin and soft tissues.
  • Swelling, tightness, and pain in the leg can arise from internal bleeding in the thigh. Most often, this is caused by a fracture of the thighbone.
  • Headache, seizures, and loss of consciousness might be the outcome of internal bleeding in the brain.

Any of these signs of internal bleeding after an injury need to be dealt with as a medical emergency situation. The injured person has to be evaluated in a healthcare facility emergency room.


Internal bleeding harms the body both from the loss of blood and from the pressure the misplaced blood puts on other organs and tissues. Treatment usually takes place in a medical facility’s emergency situation department.

Intravenous fluids and blood transfusions might be given to prevent or correct a hazardous drop in blood pressure.

Imaging tests (usually an ultrasound, CT scan, or both) can recognize whether internal bleeding exists. Medical professionals consider the amount of internal bleeding together with the injured individual’s blood pressure and intensity of injuries to select the best preliminary treatment – surgery or observation.

When internal bleeding is slower or delayed, observation may be suitable initially. Often, internal bleeding from injury stops on its own.

Ongoing or severe internal bleeding due to injury requires surgery to fix the problem. When internal bleeding is severe, emergency surgery may occur within minutes after arrival at the medical facility.

The kind of surgery used will depend upon the place of the injury and bleeding:

  • Exploratory laparotomy: A surgeon makes a big cut in the skin of the abdomen and thoroughly checks out the abdominal area. The surgeon will seal completions of any leaking blood vessels with a heat probe or suture product.
  • Thoracotomy: For bleeding around the heart or lungs, a surgeon makes a cut along the chest or the breastbone. Gaining access to the chest, the surgeon can identify and stop the bleeding and safeguard the heart and lungs from pressure brought on by excess blood.
  • Craniotomy: For bleeding due to distressing brain injuries, a surgeon might develop a hole in the skull. This can eliminate pressure and lower further injury to the brain.
  • Fasciotomy: Internal bleeding into an area such as the thigh can create high pressure and prevent blood flow to the remainder of the leg. A surgeon can cut deeply into the thigh to ease pressure and gain access to stop the bleeding.

Some people have extra risk factors for internal bleeding due to injury. These include:

  • Use of “blood thinner” medications, such as clopidogrel (Plavix), warfarin (Coumadin), rivaroxaban (Xarelto), apixaban (Eliquis), and dabigatran (Pradaxa).
  • Severe liver disease or cirrhosis.
  • Inherited conditions that disrupt blood clot ability, such as von Willebrand’s disease or hemophilia.

People with internal bleeding due to injury who have these risk factors might get additional treatments to help their embolism appropriately.

Last modified: December 1, 2017


The Author

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures.

Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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