When you learned how to ride a bike, how often did you go home with a scraped knee or bloody elbow? How many Band-Aids and motherly kisses did your cuts and bruises require before they healed? And, how many times did your dad tell you to put antibacterial cream on them to avoid infection?
If you’re anything like kids today, the answer is a lot.
Now that you’re older and wiser, the occasional scrape and bruise doesn’t mean that much. However, just as the younger you suffered injuries on his bike, the older you has the same potential to suffer when riding your adult bike—even more so if your “adult bike” is a motorcycle. As such, you need to remember your parents’ words of wisdom when it came to taking care of your injuries, because road rash is no skinned knee.
We’ve all met some obstinately macho bikers who refuse to seek medical care for road rash. It turns out that ignoring abrasion injuries is a very bad idea. Depending on the type of road rash, failure to seek professional treatment or relying on home first aid can have dire effects. Road rash can directly injure multiple layers of skin, muscle, tissue, and even bone. It’s urgent that someone with an abrasion injury be evaluated and treated by a medical professional, even if he doesn’t think he’s been badly hurt. Otherwise, the motorcycle accident victim could be exposed to the following complications:
The severity of the road rash and the biker’s healing ability will determine the likelihood of permanent scarring. Minor cuts and lacerations may heal without causing long-term effects. However, for the majority of road rash victims, scarring is inevitable. As the injury heals, new skin forms to close the wound. This new skin is not only tighter than the damaged skin, but doesn’t produce hair follicles or sweat glands, making it noticeably different from the skin surrounding it. During the recovery process, the skin may also become inflamed, which may damage skin around the wound and make the scar even larger. Depending on the location of the wound, scars can also be disfiguring, especially injuries to the face, neck, arms, and hands. Scars are permanent; even plastic surgery cannot remove scarring, but can at best relocate a scar to a less-visible area.
Road rash involves scraping the skin across a rough surface, usually a roadway. Even a shallow injury can introduce debris and dirt into an abrasion wound, and from there bacteria can easily enter the bloodstream. Skin, muscle tissue, or blood infections are always serious, and the danger is acute for bacterial infections like MRSA or cellulitis. Infection can spread to the lungs, heart, urinary tract, causing the potential for fatal organ failure.
Typical signs of bacterial infections include:
- The appearance of green, yellow, or brown foul-smelling pus
- An elevated body temperature (fever of over 100.4ºF) for more than four hours, accompanied with flu-like symptoms
- Swollen lymph nodes (lumps on your neck or under your arms)
When an infection isn’t properly treated it can cause excess fluid to build up around the wound. This is pus, a collection of white blood cells responding to inflammation, and other fluids from the bloodstream. Doctors give the name edema to the swelling that accompanies this build-up of fluid. This extra fluid can put pressure on blood vessels and veins, disrupting normal blood flow. As a result, muscles, tissues, and organs may fail to receive necessary oxygen and nutrients, causing pain and decreased function.
When Complications Leave You Feeling Ill
Any type of motorcycle injury can be traumatizing, but when an injury worsens over time, treatment and recovery can quickly get out of hand. Unfortunately, insurance companies try to settle claims as quickly as possible in order to avoid having to pay for medical complications. We know better. Our accident attorneys are dedicated to making sure that we represent all aspects of motorcycle injury claims, including potential future medical costs.
Call us today at 386.673.4412 or toll-free at 800.556.8890 to discuss your injury options and see how we can help to secure your recovery. Don’t allow the insurance company to take advantage of your injuries. Call now for a free consultation and let us help you start to feel better.