A Brief Overview of Traumatic Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can occur any time that a head injury occurs such as a bump, jolt, or blow. Such action causes damage to the brain that can result in long-term medical problems or death.

There are millions of people in the United States that suffer from brain injuries each year. Roughly half of those require a visit to the hospital. Interestingly, approximately half of all traumatic brain injuries are caused by motor vehicle accidents.

Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries

You may not realize that you have suffered from a TBI until long after it occurs. In fact, symptoms may not appear until several days or even weeks after the injury. Concussions are by far the most common traumatic brain injuries, but they are also the mildest. Not every traumatic brain injury will involve a concussion.

Mild TBIs are often associated with:

  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Fatigue

More serious TBIs may also have the following symptoms in addition to those listed above.

  • Repeated nausea or vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Dilated eyes
  • Inability to wake from sleep
  • Numbness in the arms and/or legs
  • Convulsions or seizures

You should seek medical attention immediately if you have any signs or symptoms of a traumatic brain injury. Failing to seek medical help can result in long-term damage and even death. Even if you are unsure if you or a loved one has a TBI, it is better to visit with a medical professional then go untreated.

The long-term effects of a TBI can include a decreased ability to engage in cognitive thinking and employ language skills. It can also affect sensation and emotions. Some victims may also develop post-traumatic stress disorder as well.

Testing for Traumatic Brain Injuries

Doctors commonly use a neurological exam to assess the seriousness of a TBI. Severe traumatic brain injuries will require emergency treatment to attempt to avoid long-term damage.

Testing for a traumatic brain injury will generally include an evaluation of the ability to speak, open your eyes, and move your arms and legs. Unconsciousness for more than 30 minutes is often considered a moderate to severe TBI. Memory loss is often associated with TBIs as well, but it may not always occur.

Other Causes of TBIs

Although motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries, there may be other reasons as well. For example, contact sports such as football and hockey may result in traumatic brain injuries. Violence, explosions, and combat injuries are also common culprits. Serious falls can also lead to TBI’s as well.

If you or a loved one has suffered from a TBI after an accident, you may have legal options. Call ClarkeGriffin to discuss your potential case.

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Written by Clarke Griffin