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Understanding Polytrauma Clinical Triad (PCT) Following an MVA

car accident clinic spring hill

Polytrauma clinical triad (PCT) consist of three kinds of condition or diagnoses that may be co-occurring with a primary condition. It’s most prevalent among veterans coming home after a tour of duty, but victims of motor vehicle accidents may also experience the big three: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain, and postconcussion syndrome (PCS).

Prevalence of Polytrauma Clinical Triad in MVA Victims

In a rare study on polytrauma clinical triad for motor vehicular accidents published in the Journal of Pain Research, experts learned that 52.1% of patients in this 12-month trial exhibited criteria for PCT. Of these patients, everyone experienced chronic pain, while the majority (85.9%)  suffered from PTSD, and 54.9% had PCS, which is also known as a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Polytrauma injuries often score at 15 or higher in the Injury Severity Score, thus our car accident doctor in Spring Hill considers it a serious or major condition

The SOP for Polytrauma Clinical Triad in MVA 

Vehicular accidents often happen at high speed, thus the tendency for multiple injuries. In Lifeguard Urgent Care’s MVA clinic in Spring Hill, it’s a standard operating procedure (SOP) for victims of car crashes to undergo a trauma series X-ray, which entails checking the chest, pelvis and the cervical spine to rule out anything life-threatening.

Your car accident doctor in Spring Hill may also order other tests like a CT scan or rush the patient to the surgery theater for emergency treatment. If the patient exhibits cardiopulmonary failures, then the doctor might additionally require a test called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)

Symptoms of Polytrauma Clinical Triad in MVA Victims

The same study also indicated that car crash victims with PCT had high instances of experiencing the following conditions: 

  • Headaches
  • Mood disturbances (irritability, frustration and restlessness)
  • Cognitive disturbances (poor concentration, forgetfulness and slow thought processing)
  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Poor sleep quality

Unless otherwise managed or treated, these conditions can be easily aggravated by PTSD and complicated by PCS. Unfortunately, it’s more challenging to diagnose and predict the outcome for post-concussion syndrome when there are currently no diagnostic biomarkers and no FDA-approved therapies for traumatic brain injuries, according to a study on the Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics. 

Challenges of PCT Car Crash Victims

Patients with PCT may experience intense difficulty in coping with the extent of their symptoms since the cognitive issues and mood disturbances can overlap with the symptoms of the trifecta of diagnoses. Thus, they may require long-term medical care, physical, and psychological therapy that could become a social and financial burden.

The risk of depression, suicide, and substance abuse problems among PCT patients in military service is 7 times higher than car crash victims. This has not yet been studied in PCT patients among motor vehicle crash victims, but the study suggested that the struggles of PCT, regardless of how it was obtained, are nearly the same.

Thus, when it comes to PCT victims, clinical care, support, and coordination from all medical professionals involved must be consistent to aid in the speedy recovery of the patient. The process of healing varies with patients and depends on the severity of their car crash injuries. 

Where to find the best mva clinic in Spring hill?

If you’ve been involved in a motor-vehicular accident, always get yourself checked by a doctor. Remember that some health problems related to an MVA have a delayed onset.

At Lifeguard Urgent Care, the waiting time is minimized compared to ER rooms. The consultation and treatment is guaranteed to be affordable, compared to exorbitant amounts on hospital bills. For more information, call us at (352) 515-6000.



The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.