After a car accident, most people give themselves a brief assessment and determine whether or not they have any pressing injuries. If your limbs are in one piece, you're not bleeding, and you are awake and aware, then you probably don't need to go to the emergency room. However, it is a good idea to head to the urgent care center and have the practitioners there check you for any less-obvious, less-serious ailments. Here are a few of the injuries they will likely check for.
There is a common misconception that a concussion is synonymous with being "knocked out." But you do not need to lose consciousness to develop a concussion, and most people with mild to moderate concussions do not lose consciousness. An urgent care center will assess you for signs of a concussion by observing how your pupils respond to light and by examining your head for evidence of any bruising. If you are found to have a concussion, you will be given instructions to lie low for a few days, avoid bright lights, and avoid operating heavy machinery.
Whiplash is a common neck injury that occurs when your head snaps forward and then back — which is really common in car accidents. You don't always notice symptoms right away, but an urgent care center can detect whiplash early by observing as you bend and flex in certain ways. If you do have whiplash, early treatments like holding an ice pack against the area and taking NSAIDs can help keep symptoms from worsening. You may be asked to wear a neck brace for a few days, too.
Many people who are in car crashes suffer major bruising of the chest and rib cage due to seat belts. This is not usually a huge deal, but it is important to make sure there are no more serious injuries, such as broken ribs or strained intercostal muscles. An urgent care center can take some x-rays or an MRI to see what's going on inside. If you do have chest bruising, they can fit you with a brace to help support your rib cage as you heal, and they can prescribe pain relievers and muscle relaxers, as needed.
After a car crash, it is always a good idea to stop by an urgent care center and get checked over. They'll look for the common injuries above and also for any other small problems that could go overlooked.Share