What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
According to the Center for Disease Control, a traumatic brain injury is an injury to the brain that affects how it works. Traumatic brain injuries are a major cause of death or disability in the United States, claiming about 166 Americans per day.
Traumatic brain injuries may lead to long- or short-term health problems depending on the severity of the injury. The effects of a TBI are different depending on the individual, their age, how the accident happened, and how severe the brain injury is. Some individuals may experience short-term memory loss while others may be completely disabled. In the worst cases, traumatic brain injuries can lead to death, especially if not handled with proper medical attention.
Common Immediate Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
While traumatic brain injuries may not be immediately apparent, there are signs that you can watch for. Remember, these can seem minor, but they should never be brushed off or taken lightly. If you notice any of these signs after an accident, seek medical attention immediately.
- Headaches: This is the most common symptom of a TBI and often feels like extreme pressure in your head. After a TBI, headaches may be severe and frequent.
- Confusion: This may result in memory loss, a dazed feeling, disorientation, and a delayed response to questions.
- Speech Problems: Sufferers of TBI may have slurred speech or difficulty forming words.
- Loss of Consciousness: This may last anywhere from a few seconds to a few hours, depending on the severity of the brain injury.
- Nausea or Vomiting
- Tinnitus aka Ringing in the Ears
Delayed Symptoms of TBI
The immediate symptoms of a TBI may be minor, but the delayed symptoms are quite serious. Some of these symptoms are worsened versions of the immediate symptoms. Delayed symptoms of TBI include:
- Sensory Sensitivities: Blurred vision, sensitivity to sound, sensitivity to light, or changes in how someone tastes may all occur following an accident or other traumatic event.
- Continued Memory Loss: Right after an accident, confusion may lead to a temporary loss of memory. However, if someone continues to lose their long- or short-term memory, it may be due to a traumatic injury to the head.
- Sleep Problems: Difficulty sleeping or difficulty waking up may indicate a brain injury.
- Mood Changes or Mood Swings: Personality and emotions are formed in the brain. A person may experience mood swings after a TBI, or their personality and mood may change completely. Those close to them may notice that a person with TBI seems like a completely different person.
- Depression or Anxiety: The aforementioned changes to the brain may cause a person to develop depression or anxiety after a TBI.
- Seizures: If a person never experienced seizures before an incident but they experience them afterward, there is a good chance that they are suffering from a TBI.
- Loss of Coordination: Some disorientation is common after an accident, but if loss of coordination persists, it is likely due to a TBI.
- Coma: This is one of the biggest concerns after a traumatic event. Comas often do not occur right after an incident; they are much more likely to develop further down the line. It is imperative to seek medical attention after a traumatic event to make sure that you do not end up slipping into a coma.
How Is a TBI Treated?
Individuals who suffer a traumatic brain injury or are showing symptoms of traumatic brain injury need to be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible. While little can be done to reverse the initial effects of a brain injury, medical personnel can help ensure that further injury doesn’t occur, alleviate symptoms, and aid in the brain’s recovery.
Treatments, such as controlling blood pressure, ensuring the brain has proper blood and oxygen flow and using anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling and pressure go a long way in ensuring the best outcome for a TBI. Traumatic brain injuries that remain undiagnosed and untreated can lead to severe injuries such as paralysis, disabilities, and even death.
After the initial injury is treated, support, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and psychiatry, can be provided to aid in recovery.
I (Or a Loved One) Suffered From a Traumatic Brain Injury In an Accident
If you are in an accident, it is important for you to seek out medical attention immediately to ensure that you have not suffered any major injuries. Even minor symptoms, such as headaches, can be a sign of a serious medical problem that needs to be immediately treated. One of these serious injuries that are often hidden at first due to adrenaline is a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
A TBI is often caused by car accidents. It can also be caused by other incidents such as a violent slip and fall, incidents at work, or amusement park accidents. No matter what the case is, if you experience a violent jolt or blow to the head, you should consult a health professional to check for signs of a TBI.
If you were in an accident and are not sure your symptoms warrant a trip to the hospital or to your doctor, here is a quick overview of traumatic brain Injuries and common symptoms. If you notice any of these, seek out medical attention immediately.
If you or a loved one suffered a TBI from a car accident, slip and fall, or other incidents, contact the dedicated personal injury attorneys at Branch & Dhillon, P.C. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will make sure that you get the compensation you deserve for the medical bills you accrue after an injury. For more information on how our team can help you after you suffer an injury, contact us today and schedule a free consultation.