How to Act After a Car Crash When Pregnant
Is driving safe for pregnant women? Worries are entitled as an extensive study shows pregnant women are more likely to have serious accidents when driving. Being in a car accident is one of the biggest fears of expectant mothers.
What to be aware of after a car accidentPregnant mothers involved in a car crash, regardless of the apparent severity of the injury, should be evaluated in a medical setting.
In most cases, the symptoms of trauma to the fetus are evident immediately after the accident. The mother may experience acute abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding or leaking fluid, dizziness. Other symptoms that may indicate a problem are painful urination, swelling of the face, chills, serious headache, change in the baby's movement.
However, in some cases, symptoms of injury to the unborn fetus or placental abruption may occur without evidence of maternal injury. That is why it is crucial to seek care immediately after any blunt trauma.
If no abnormalities are present during the first hours of hospital care, early discharge is possible.
Consequences of different types of crashesStudies show that various kinds of accidents have different outcomes. Frontal impact collisions are usually associated with low speed, are not as traumatizing as other type of accidents, and the effects on the pregnancy are not acute.
However, broadside collisions at high-speed place pregnant women at the risk of placental abruption and fetal and maternal death. Other dangerous types of accidents are rollovers and rear-end accidents.
Placental abruption is the most common and most dangerous injury that can occur as a result of a car crash. When it happens, the placenta is prematurely detached from the uterine wall. As a result, the blood flow to the placenta is cut off. This condition may be associated with internal bleeding, acute abdominal pain, and dizziness.
Preventive action: drive carefully, especially during the second trimesterResearchers have found that the risk of being in a car accident is the greatest during the second trimester. The cause may be all the hormonal changes happening during pregnancy. The risk of accidents drops off in the third quarter and lowers even more after the pregnancy.
To stay safe, pregnant drivers should minimize distractions, take frequent breaks, drive in a comfortable position, take care not to speed, obey stop signs.
Also, it is important to wear the seat belt correctly. NHTSA recommends pregnant women to place the lap portion of the belt under the gravid abdomen and across the thighs, low on the hips. The belt shouldn't be placed above or over the belly because it can cause fetal injury. The shoulder strap has to be off to the side of the uterus, between the breasts, over the median line of the clavicle. Do not disable airbags during pregnancy.