Common Signs of a Traumatic Brain Injury After an Accident
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be very serious. It occurs when a sudden blow to the head causes the brain to come into contact with the inside of the skull. These types of injuries are especially dangerous. Symptoms do not always appear immediately. In fact, injuries may not begin manifesting until weeks after the accident. Treating is expensive. So, if you or a loved one recently sustained a head injury in an accident, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney. They will help you seek compensation for your losses.
What Qualifies as a Traumatic Brain Injury?
TBIs are usually as a result of the head violently hitting an object or of an object piercing the skull itself and damaging the brain tissue. A variety of head injuries fall under the broad category of traumatic brain injuries. The mildest form are concussions. However, even mild concussions can have painful and debilitating consequences, including:
- Severe neck pain;
- Fatigue; and
- Ringing in the ears.
Moderate to severe TBIs often manifest much sooner than concussions. Also, they can cause the following, more serious, side effects:
- Persistent and severe headaches;
- Repeated vomiting;
- Seizures or convulsions;
- Slurred speech;
- Difficulty waking up;
- Weakness or numbness in the limbs;
- Loss of coordination;
- Agitation and mood swings; and
- Dilated pupils.
A forceful blow to the head can also cause blood to pool between the brain and the skull. These types of injuries, known as hematomas, are particularly dangerous. This is because they can expand and compress brain tissue. In some situations, this will cause permanent brain damage. Brain contusions, which involve bleeds in the brain tissue itself are another serious type of TBI. Although minor brain contusions usually heal on their own over time, severe contusions can cause substantial neurological issues.
Unfortunately, it is rarely possible to reverse initial brain damage caused by trauma. Therefore, medical professionals must focus on stabilizing TBI victims. This is an attempt to prevent further injury. It generally requires ensuring that a patient has a steady supply of oxygen and controlling blood pressure. Imaging tests, such as CT scans and MRIs are necessary to make an official diagnosis.
The treatment plan designed by a doctor for a TBI victim depends on the severity of the injury. In addition, the age and health of the patient play a role. For instance, those with minor injuries may only need rest and prescription painkillers for a short period of time. Afterwards, they can control or even cure their symptoms. In more severe cases a patient may need physical, occupational, and speech therapy. In other cases, a surgeon may need to ease intracranial pressure caused by swelling by performing emergency surgery.