Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Esophageal Injuries in Accident Victims

Scheme of digestive tract, with esophagus marked.
Illustration of adult human digestive tract, with esophagus marked in red.

What Is The Esophagus And Blunt Esophageal Injury?

The esophagus is a muscular tube that connects the throat with the stomach. Its purpose is to carry food, liquids, and saliva from the mouth to the stomach. The esophagus runs behind the windpipe and heart and in front of the spine, passing through the diaphragm just before entering the stomach.  The esophagus is divided in two sections: the upper esophageal sphincter (UES) and the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).

The UES is a wad of muscles at the top of the esophagus used for breathing, eating, belching, and vomiting. The purpose of the muscles is help food and secretions travel down the esophagus. The LES is on the other end of the esophagus and connects with the stomach. It prevents acid and stomach contents from traveling backwards from the stomach.

What Causes A Blunt Esophageal Injury?

An esophagus injury may be caused one of four ways:

(1) injury from endoscopic instruments or other thoracic or throat surgical procedures;

(2) penetrating or blunt trauma, from motor vehicle accidents;

(3) caustic ingestions during suicide attempts or by accident; or

(4) spontaneous or forceful vomiting or retching (Boerhave Syndrome).

What Are The Symptoms Of A Blunt Esophageal Injury?

At first, victims of esophageal injury experience pain. If a perforation or tear occurs symptoms include difficulty swallowing, chest pain, and breathing problems. Other symptoms include: fast breathing, fever, low blood pressure, rapid heart rate, neck pain or stiffness.

Esophageal Injury—Injured Esophagus How Is A Blunt Esophageal Injury Diagnosed?

It is difficult to injure the esophagus unless penetrating blunt trauma occurs. Medical professionals rely on chest x-rays and chest CT scans to assess location and extent of injury.

How Is A Blunt Esophageal Injury Treated?

Treatment includes surgical repair and the insertion of a temporary feeding tube to enable the victim to consume food orally. Afterwards, rehabilitation may be needed until the functions of the esophagus returns.

Compensation For A Blunt Esophageal Injury

If you are experiencing painful and difficult breathing after a traumatic incident or a car crash, you may have injured your esophagus. Make sure you are examined and diagnosed by a medical doctor immediately. You may be able to pursue compensation for damages such as medical bills, pain and suffering, permanent injury or disability, costs of physical therapy and rehabilitation, lost wages from missed work, diminished earning capacity, mental anguish and emotional distress, punitive damages, and/or property damage or loss.

Did you suffer a blunt esophageal injury from an accident?  Our Boston area personal injury claims and car accident victim attorneys will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.  No-obligation. No fee if no recovery.

If you or a loved one experienced hemorrhage after a blunt aortic injury because of someone else’s negligence and would like to discuss your legal options, contact an experienced Boston Personal Injury Lawyer today for a free consultation. The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan has a proven track record with over 35 years of legal experience representing victims of serious internal injuries in southeastern Massachusetts.

For a free, no-obligation case review and consultation call our law firm today at (508) 588-0422 and you will have taken your first step towards getting fair compensation for your injuries or for the loss of a loved one. You can also click here to use our Free Case Evaluation Form.

Free Legal Consultation, Brockton Accident Attorneys

We offer a free, no-obligation legal consultation to help you understand your rights and the value of your case.


Our Boston Injured Esophagus Lawyer assists motor vehicle accident victims throughout all of Massachusetts including, but not limited to, those in the following counties, cities and towns: Plymouth County including Brockton, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Marshfield, Hingham, Duxbury, Wareham, Abington, Rockland, Whitman, Hanson, Middleborough; Norfolk County including Quincy, Stoughton, Dedham, Weymouth, Braintree, Avon, Holbrook, Randolph, Canton, Sharon, Brookline, Franklin; Bristol County including New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Attleboro, Mansfield, Easton, Raynham, Norton; Cape Cod, Falmouth, Barnstable and the Greater Boston area including Cambridge, Lowell, Lynn, Chelsea, Everett, Lawrence, Revere, Dorchester, Roxbury and Somerville.

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