Concussions and other types of traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be serious events leading to permanent disability or even death, yet up to 85 percent of TBI cases go undetected in emergency rooms.
Early signs of TBI are often undetectable by MRI or CT scans because the brain reacts to injury by increasing sugar levels to handle the heightened activity. Symptoms of TBI may not appear for hours or even days after an accident, and it is not uncommon for the victim to walk away from the accident and not yet realize that anything is wrong. It is very important to know the signs and symptoms of a concussion or any other TBI since you may need to act as your own medical advocate if you find yourself in an accident.
A concussion involves a closed head injury, where the victim suffers a hard blow to the head, but the skull isn’t fractured. The brain is injured from either violent shaking, or sudden deceleration that causes the brain to impact the interior of the skull with great force. Closed head injuries can be contrasted with open head injuries in which the protective shield of the skull is breached, causing direct physical harm to the brain by the penetrating object.
While there may be no external signs of injury with a concussion, certain physical and cognitive symptoms may be present. The timing of the injury may affect the symptoms observed, since immediate signs of TBI may vary from long-term symptoms. If you see any of the following, seek immediate medical attention for the injured.
Early Symptoms Associated with TBI:
- Loss of consciousness
- Incoherent or slurred speech
- Lack of coordination
- Unusual emotional responses
Head injuries resulting in TBI are often associated with neck and spinal injuries, and great care should be taken when moving someone who has suffered a head injury. It is best to call for medical assistance, rather than move the injured person.
Any injury that results in the loss of consciousness requires immediate medical attention, but many people who suffer concussions don’t lose consciousness and may be unaware that they are concussed.
Long-term TBI Symptoms
Longer-term symptoms include chronic headaches, vertigo, poor attention, the inability to concentrate, nausea or vomiting, fatigue, irritability, an intolerance of bright lights or loud noises, depression, and disturbed sleep. If you experience mild symptoms that do not go away after two to three weeks, call your doctor. If you experience any changes in your behavior, slurred speech, difficulty waking up in the morning, double vision, problems thinking straight, problems walking, or if you have seizures you should seek medical attention immediately.
If you or someone you love suffered a serious brain injury at the fault of someone else, it’s important you contact our office for a free consultation as soon as possible. We will ensure you have the knowledge and advice you need to pursue justice against the at-fault party.