What is Blunt Force Trauma?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 19 July 2019
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Blunt force trauma is an injury or group of injuries that is caused by tissue impacting or colliding with a blunt object. In other words, the object in question is not sharp or pointed, and therefore does not cut through or penetrate the tissue to a significant degree. Rather, injury from blunt force trauma is caused simply by the impact itself and subsequent reactions. In situations where this type of trauma occurs, most of the injuries may be internal with very little outward signs of problems.

One of the most common signs of outward injury when blunt force trauma has occurred is bruising. The impact of the blunt object causes vessels under the surface of the skin to break, but the skin remains intact. The result is typically a bruise that may turn from purple to brown or black over time. Other trauma conditions include broken bones, internal bleeding, and other types of internal injuries to organs or tissues.

Many different objects and situations can lead to blunt force trauma. Sports injuries are often the result of such trauma. Automobile accidents are another common reason for these injuries, but auto crashes may also result in injuries from sharp objects as well. Another common cause is an assault, either caused by punches or being beaten with an object, such as a club or stick.


Many times, the trauma is not considered to be serious, but there are cases when it will require medical attention. Head injuries can be especially dangerous because of the potential of brain injuries. Broken bones also require medical attention if they are to heal properly. Some may need to be set into place to ensure the healing is most effective. Abdominal trauma and injuries to the group of organs there can also be very serious.

Blunt force trauma to the head can cause a number of conditions that affect the brain and could even result in death. One of the most serious of these is swelling of the brain. When the brain expands because of swelling, it may eventually press against the skull causing pressure to build within the cranium. This could eventually cut blood flow to the brain, depriving it of vital nutrients and oxygen.

If a blunt force trauma incident occurs, the victim may want to seek medical attention. Often, the decision to seek medical attention depends on the severity, or longevity, of the pain. In some cases, those who have received injuries may want to go for a medical evaluation, especially if the injury involves a child. Pain is not the only indicator of an injury's severity, and some injuries that initially seem minor could become more serious over time.


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Post 1

My orthopedic doctor said that my humerus break had a 40 degree angle. He also stated that the break was due to blunt trauma force. What does all of this mean medically?

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