Motor vehicle accidents happen at an almost alarming rate in the Tar Heel State. In fact, in 2019, there were nearly 319,000 crashes on North Carolina roadways. Sadly, more than 86,000 individuals sustained some type of injury in these accidents.
If you suffer a serious injury in a collision, you probably need emergency medical care. Unfortunately, though, your body’s normal stress response may mask injury symptoms. That is, you may not realize you have suffered bodily harm until hours or even days after a car accident.
The fight-or-flight response
In response to a stressful event, your body may prepare either to fight off danger or run away from it. Your body’s fight-or-flight response, also known as acute stress response, triggers your sympathetic nervous system. This system tells your adrenal glands to release catecholamines.
Catecholamines are a collection of hormones, including adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine. While these hormones perform a variety of functions, they also diminish pain. Because pain is a symptom of many serious injuries, not feeling it may trick your brain into believing you are fine after a car accident when you are not.
The benefit of a medical examination
If you do not receive immediate medical attention, some car accident injuries, such as organ damage, may lead to long-term complications or even death.
Not only does going to the emergency room after a car accident help to rule out serious injury, but it also puts your mind at ease. Put simply, only after you receive a full medical examination can you know you have escaped serious injury.