Even a seemingly minor traffic accident may prove fatal. Such a scenario may lead to hidden injuries with delayed symptoms. The injured person may not know the severity until hours, days, weeks and even months later.
Consider the case of television personality Steve Allen, who served as the original host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” when it debuted in 1954. Allen died in 2000. A fender-bender while en route to his son’s California home contributed to his death.
Minor car collision led to chest injury
What happened to Allen could have occurred to any person traveling inside a motor vehicle. In Allen’s situation, the driver of an SUV backed out of a driveway, striking the side of Allen’s car. Allen and the other driver exchanged names, and the longtime entertainer continued to his son’s home.
What Allen did not know was that the impact of the crash caused the rupture of a blood vessel in his chest. As a result of the injury, blood leaked into the sac surrounding his heart, leading to hemopericardium, which proved fatal for Allen.
Upon arriving at his son’s home, Allen said he was not feeling well and needed to rest. Soon after lying down, he become unresponsive and was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Common delayed injury symptoms
Here are a few common delayed injury symptoms that may arise after a car crash:
- Abdominal and torso pain: Discomfort, bruising and swelling in these areas are a potential sign of a serious injury as in Allen’s case. Internal bleeding is possible, signifying damage to the heart, liver, lungs and spleen.
- Back pain: Such discomfort may surface in the lower back, especially after your car has been struck from behind.
- Headaches: This is a potential sign of head injury. A traumatic brain injury and bleeding on the brain are possible.
- Changes in personality: Such a situation has ties to head trauma. A once-mild-mannered person may turn aggressive, surly, foul-mouthed and even be prone to inappropriate fits of crying and laughter.
- Numbness: Along with tingling, numbness is sign of potential nerve damage to arms, hands, legs and feet.
If you suspect something is wrong, then there likely is something wrong. Pay attention to these seemingly minor aches. They may be a sign of a much more severe injury.
Get prompt medical attention
A hidden injury led to the death of entertainment renaissance man Steve Allen, an intelligent comedian, television pioneer, composer and author. The minor motor vehicle accident that led to his sudden death may be surprising. But remember, the slightest discomfort after a crash should alert you into getting prompt medical attention.