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Severe injuries: Have you seen an internal decapitation?

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2022 | Workplace Risks

Did you know that you could be technically decapitated but still survive? There is an injury called an internal decapitation that could dislocate the spine from the skull but not enough that you suffer severe trauma or have any immediate signs of the seriousness of the injury.

An internal decapitation occurs when the neck is hyperextended backwards. Sometimes, twisting motions also occur and increase the likelihood of serious injury. These movements snap tendons and ligaments that normally attach the skull to the neck and shoulders. The skin and muscles are still in place, which is how it is sometimes the case that people survive despite such as severe injury occurring.

Internal decapitations are typically fatal

For most, internal decapitations are fatal. They are extremely rare as it is, and with the severity of the damage caused during the hyperextension, it’s usually the case that the spinal cord is severed or damaged severely enough to lead to death. In around 70% of cases, the victims of these injuries die immediately.

In the other 30% of cases, paralysis, a loss of consciousness or other symptoms usually inform paramedics that something is very wrong. However, there are times when people survive and don’t have as severe of injuries as you’d expect. For example, in 2018, a young man suffered this injury in a crash and survived. He went through surgeries to fuse the spine and stabilize the neck and skull. He is still alive today and, though he has some pain and trouble moving his right arm, he is on the way to recovery.

Serious neck injuries require emergency treatment

If you are injured at work or while on the job and have a severe case like this, it’s vital that you get medical treatment as soon as possible. Even a partial internal decapitation can lead to serious symptoms, like paralysis, and should be treated as soon as possible to preserve the spinal cord and functionality of the head and neck.

Whether you fell, were involved in a crash or suffered injuries from another kind of workplace accident, you deserve support. The right help can make sure you seek the compensation you need as you focus on your recovery.