The Danger of Infection After a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcyclists lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle. Thus, they are vulnerable to serious injuries in a collision. Many injuries that bikers sustain involve open wounds, which allow bacteria to enter the body. For this reason, bikers face an extra danger after a motorcycle crash and should keep an eye out for any signs of infection.
How Do Motorcycle Accidents Cause Open Wounds?
When a motorcycle trips or collides with another object, the biker can tear his skin on the pavement or another vehicle, resulting in open wounds. If not treated immediately, these wounds can lead to more serious conditions, including blood loss and infections. Common causes of infections after motorcycle accidents include:
- Road rash: When a biker is dragged along the road or thrown from the bike and slides across a rough surface, road rash is the likely result. Road rash can occur in varying degrees of severity, from a minor injury similar to a bad sunburn to severe abrasions exposing muscle and bone. As road rash scrapes away layers of skin, the body’s protective barrier against bacteria, and embeds grit and debris into the wounds, it can easily lead to infection.
- Compound fractures: Broken bones are not uncommon in motorcycle crashes. When a bone breaks into pieces that protrude through the skin, it creates a risk of severe infection and requires emergency medical treatment.
- Shrapnel: Foreign objects such as metal, glass, rocks, or plastic can pierce the skin in a motorcycle wreck. This type of injury creates an opening for bacteria to enter the body and multiply, causing infection.
The Value of Immediate Medical Intention
No matter how minor you think your motorcycle accident was, you should still get medical care as soon as possible. Moderate road rash or lacerations that may not seem serious at first can lead to life-threatening infections if left untreated. The adrenaline rush after a crash could mask the pain you would otherwise be feeling. If you fail to get medical attention as soon as possible, it could also affect your claim for compensation from the at-fault party.
What Makes Infections So Dangerous?
A bacterial infection can lead to a potentially life-threatening condition known as sepsis or blood poisoning. Sepsis is an extreme reaction of the body to infection. It occurs when the chemicals the body releases in the bloodstream to fight an infection trigger inflammation throughout multiple organs.
Sepsis can cause dangerously low blood pressure, which can cause organ damage or failure and may result in death. It is always a medical emergency. Symptoms of sepsis include:
- Rapid heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Chills or sweating
- Severe pain or discomfort
What Are the Symptoms of Infection to Watch for After a Crash?
If you have sustained road rash or other open wounds in a motorcycle accident, it is essential to watch for the signs of infection and get medical treatment right away if they appear. Those symptoms include:
- Redness in the area of the wound, particularly if the redness spreads
- Increasing pain or tenderness at or around the site of the wound
- Warmth or swelling in the area of the injury
- Swollen lymph nodes in the armpits, neck, or groin
- Pus in or around the wound
- Delayed healing of the wound
What Can You Do If a Motorcycle Accident Injury Gets Infected?
The first thing to do is see a doctor. If a bacterial infection is present, the doctor will likely prescribe oral antibiotics or admit you to the hospital for IV antibiotics if the infection is serious. Once you are on the road to recovery, if your crash was someone else’s fault, you should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Our Dallas motorcycle accident lawyers at The Lenahan Law Firm believe severe injuries deserve premier care. We are insanely focused and have a history of obtaining big results for our clients. If you were catastrophically injured by a negligent driver, call our team at (214) 295-1008 to schedule a free consultation with no time limit to discuss what happened to you.