Vascular Injuries

Vascular trauma/injuries, or damage to a blood vessel, can happen to anyone. Often the result of an accident or injury, a vascular trauma can be mild, moderate, or severe.

What Is Vascular Trauma?

Arteries and veins make up the vascular system.

  • Arteries carry blood away from the heart
  • Veins carry blood back to the heart

Vascular trauma means that a blood vessel has sustained some kind of injury.

Sometimes, these injuries involve a tear or puncture that causes blood loss. Other times they cause damage to the vessel from crushing or twisting.

Vascular trauma risk factors and causes:

Anyone can experience vascular trauma because of an injury — whether intentional or unintentional.

Vascular trauma causes:

Vascular trauma can result from a wide range of causes, including:

  • Injury (accidents, falls, cuts, etc.)
  • Violence
  • Pinching of a vein or artery (internal or external)
  • Dislocation of a bone
  • Piercing of a vein, such as with insertion of an IV
Vascular trauma complications:

Vascular trauma can lead to a number of complications, including:

  • Loss of blood, sometimes a large amount
  • Formation of a blood clot (thrombosis)
  • Bruising and swelling
  • Soreness or pain
  • Scarring

Scarring or incomplete healing can cause permanent weakness in the artery or vein, which makes it more prone to future injury.

Blood clots can cause a blockage of blood flow. A clot becomes especially dangerous when it breaks off and travels through to another part of the body, like the heart, lungs, or brain.