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Can a car accident cause a heart attack?

Your car, truck or SUV probably has hundreds of safety features, including seat belts, airbags and crumple zones. While these enhancements reduce your chances of suffering a serious injury in a motor vehicle accident, nothing can eliminate your risk. Regrettably, some safety features may contribute to potentially life-threatening injuries.

During a crash, your chest is likely to press against your car’s seat belt. If this happens, you may be vulnerable to a chest contusion. Therefore, if you have chest pain after an accident, you should treat your pain as a medical emergency.

What is a chest contusion?

According to the Mayo Clinic, a chest contusion involves bruising to the chest. After an accident, you may notice a seat-belt-shaped bruise across your midsection. If this bruise is only skin-deep, you may be fine. Still, the injury may extend to your heart or the tissues that surround it.

When is a chest contusion dangerous?

If you have a severe chest contusion, your heart may not perform normally. That is, it may beat erratically or have difficulty pumping blood through your body. Sadly, a chest contusion may lead to a cardiac event, commonly known as a heart attack.

When should you seek medical treatment?

Because it can be difficult to know whether a car accident has left you with serious injuries, it is wise always to go to the emergency room for a full workup. If you have any of the following symptoms, though, you should probably take an ambulance to the hospital:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Confusion, disorientation or dizziness
  • Nausea, vomiting or loss of appetite
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Muscular weakness

Ultimately, because car accidents can cause heart attacks, you do not want to risk your life by delaying medic

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