Auto accident injuries are frightening and alarming for anyone to experience or witness. However, young children are especially prone to catastrophic injuries, partly because their size and developing bodies make them more prone to certain injuries, but also because young children are unable to communicate when or where something hurts. Even more alarming is that some injuries cannot be seen, and parents may unwittingly make the wrong decision after an accident. Atlanto-occipital dislocation, or internal decapitation, is one such injury.
Internal Decapitation – What is It?
Internal decapitation is not an actual decapitation. In fact, the neck itself often appears to be intact. However, beneath the intact flesh, neck ligaments may have been severed or stretched. If not handled correctly and treated immediately, the lower part of the brain stem – a vital part of the brain that controls breathing – can be damaged and ultimately lead to death. The only chance at survival is the complete and careful stabilization of the neck and head. But even then, survival is not guaranteed, and the risk of permanent paralysis is extremely high.
An Ounce of Prevention
While it cannot be fully prevented, parents can best protect their children from internal decapitation by ensuring they are properly secured in an approved car seat in the recommended position. This helps ensure that the head and neck are appropriately secured during an accident. If an accident does happen and a parent suspects that their child may have a head or neck injury, it is critical that they are not moved until paramedics or police arrive. If the child must be moved due to safety reasons, they should be held upright and their head and neck should be supported and kept completely stable. Notify paramedics as soon as they arrive that you suspect a head or neck injury so they can take appropriate and potentially life-saving action.
Injured in an Accident? Our Attorneys Can Help
If you or your child have suffered a severe injury in an automobile accident, you may be be entitled to collect compensation. To improve your chances of a fair settlement, contact Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur, P.C. today. With decades of combined personal injury experience, our aggressive Aurora, Illinois, auto accident injury attorneys can effectively protect your rights and advocate for your best interests and your future. Contact us at 630-907-0909 and get the skilled legal representation you and your family deserve.