For every accident, there’s always a real risk of delayed injury manifestation. As a result, it is not uncommon to hear workers admit that they feel fine immediately after an accident only to develop some significant symptoms later.
This is so because, at the time of the accident, your body’s defense mechanism kicks in, filling your body with the needed adrenaline and endorphins that mask your pain and discomfort. However, once you are out of immediate danger, and your adrenaline or endorphin levels go back to normal, it is not unusual to start experiencing the pains associated with the accident.
This is why all workers involved in some sort of accident at the workplace, need to visit the hospital and have the doctor check them out before declaring that they are fine. In fact, it is always better to allow the doctor clear you as against basing your assessments on how you feel. Some of the more common injuries whose symptoms may start present days after the accident include the following:
Concussion and Brain Injuries
Concussions and related brain injuries are usually difficult to spot as it may take time before the symptoms start manifesting themselves. Concussions usually happen when the brain strikes the cranium as a result of impact or sudden force. Concussions can often result in significant character changes along the line.
Other brain injuries that could result from accidents in the workplace include intracranial bleeds or hematoma. Depending on the severity and speed of bleeding, it can take a few days before the symptoms start showing.
This is why if you’ve had an accident or know someone who has, look for symptoms like headaches, vomiting, convulsion, tinnitus, confusion and disorientation, blurred or double vision, loss of balance, insomnia, inability to concentrate, subtle character changes, amnesia, depression and poor cognitive and reasoning functions.
These will probably present after a few hours to a few days. Please note about 7% of those who suffer from concussion will likely have seizures in the future.
Whiplash or Soft Tissue Injuries
Known as the most common injury sustained in accidents – whether vehicle or workplace accidents, whiplash may not show up until days after the incident. In fact, some victims and patients have been known to suffer the symptoms weeks after the accident.
Soft tissue injuries involving ligaments, tendons and muscles are often known to delay until later before the symptoms start showing. Whiplash is often common around the neck region and is often as a result of sudden forwards and backwards movement of the head resulting in strained or even torn ligaments and tendons in the neck.
Not only can it affect the neck, it’s also been known to affect the neural pathways, shoulders and even the spine. To know if you or a loved one has suffered soft tissue injuries, look for common symptoms like limited range of motion in the neck, sudden or sharp pain when turning the neck, stiff shoulders and arms, muscle spasms, dizziness and headaches, inability to nod the head and muscle weakness in affected parts of the body.
Psychological and Emotional “Injuries”
This is not an injury per se. It is more a side effect, but a crippling and powerful one at that. This is often the most neglected “injury” sustained by accident victims.
People who have been in workplace accidents may have to struggle with coming back to work or dealing with the regular challenges that they were comfortable dealing with in the past. For instance, it is not uncommon to find people who used to climb boldly flinch or develop post-traumatic stress disorders after a fall from one.
Emotional and psychological anxiety are the least quantified effects of accidents and can be very dangerous as this can result in reduced confidence, lowered productivity and maybe eventual termination at the job.
This is why you should always ensure that your workers get the necessary routine medical checkup even months after their accident. This can go a long way in helping them get their lives back on track and speeding up their healing.
The writer, Oscar King, is a health blogger who encourages healthy habits and doctor visits after accidents for his readers. For employers whose workers have suffered an accident, he recommends a good worker’s compensation physician like Workflow Employer Services. If you wish to learn more about Oscar you can visit on Google+.