Diagnosing Traumatic Brain Injury

doctor analyzing brain injuryFollowing a blow or jolt to the head, whether injury is apparent or not, individuals should know that even a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) could lead to life-long disabling consequences. Even a mild shock to the head can lead to the very real and freighting possibility of a permanent brain injury.

Signs You Must Be Evaluated

It’s just not possible to check out every single bump or jolt that comes along. You would spend your life in the doctor’s office. But you can reduce the changes of a permanent brain injury disability by knowing when to see the doctor for a TBI evaluation. While even one TBI is dangerous, a second is even more likely to cause impairment. Important signs to look for after a blow to the head or whiplash include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Tingling, numbness, or pain in your hands, feet, fingers or toes
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizure
  • Moody behavior
  • Sleep problems
  • Difficulty speaking correctly
  • Difficulty forming speech
  • Any feeling of being unwell or just “not right”

Diagnosing Traumatic Brain Injury

Sometimes TBI can manifest in a feeling similar to seasickness, with dizziness and nauseas, so any sense that you are unwell could be a sign of TBI. Doctors will evaluate the seriousness of injury through several different tests. In most cases, examinations are performed in the emergency room, so the doctor will not be familiar with your usual disposition. For this reason, try to bring someone who knows your personality and behaviors well.

The doctor will check the head for sign of open wounds. Bruising on the body may also be looked at to gauge how much force was contained in the injuring blow or jolt. A neurological exam will be used to evaluate alertness and responsiveness. Doctors test reflexes and neuromuscular responses. A questionnaire helps doctors determine the level of cognitive functioning in the brain as well. Doctors may order x-rays to identify any broken bones. MRIs or CT scans are employed to identify injuries or swelling to the soft tissues of the brain.

Help after Diagnosis

If the doctor finds all is normal, it is still important to get plenty of rest and stay out athletic activities for a few days. If you suffer a second blow soon after the first, the chance of long-term injury is greatly increased.

If the examination reveals TBI, it’s important to discuss the seriousness of this diagnosis with your doctor. There have been cases where even mild blows to the head resulted in permanent and total disability. That’s why patients should be vigilant to ensure they receive the proper treatment.

If you or someone you love was diagnosed with TBI, you want someone who understands your needs and may be able to help you file a claim to secure compensation that will pay for your medical treatment. The attorneys at the Brain Injury Law Center are experts at handling brain injury claims and have a deep understanding of the frustrations brain-injured patients face. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case.

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