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Internal Bleeding

By

Amy H. Kaji

, MD, PhD, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, David Geffen School of Medicine

Last full review/revision Jun 2020| Content last modified Jun 2020
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION

Heavy internal bleeding may occur in the abdominal cavity, chest cavity, digestive tract, or tissues surrounding large bones, such as the thighbone (femur) and pelvis, that are broken.

Initially, internal bleeding may cause no symptoms, although an injured organ that is bleeding may be painful. However, the person may be distracted from this pain by other injuries or may be unable to express pain because of confusion, drowsiness, or unconsciousness. Eventually, internal bleeding usually becomes apparent. For example, blood in the digestive tract may cause vomiting of blood or passage of bloody or black stool.

Extensive blood loss causes low blood pressure, making the person feel weak and light-headed. The person may faint when standing or even sitting and, if blood pressure is very low, lose consciousness.

First-Aid Treatment

A lay person cannot stop internal bleeding. If extensive bleeding causes light-headedness or symptoms of shock Shock Shock is a life-threatening condition in which blood flow to the organs is low, decreasing delivery of oxygen and thus causing organ damage and sometimes death. Blood pressure is usually low... read more , the person should be laid down and the legs elevated. Medical assistance should be summoned as quickly as possible.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION
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