Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury is very different than a normal injury. Since our brain defines who we are, a brain injury can affect all aspects of our lives. A brain injury is different from a broken bone. A broken bone limits the use of a specific part of your body, but your personality and mental abilities remain unchanged. Most often, bones heal and regain their previous function.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is one of the most damaging injuries a person can sustain, and unfortunately, more common than most people realize. Although TBI causes and outcomes vary, many head injury survivors deal with severe injuries that change their lives and the lives of those around them forever. Brain injuries are a major cause of death and permanent disabilities in the United States.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury is very different than a normal injury. Since our brain defines who we are, a brain injury can affect all aspects of our lives. A brain injury is different from a broken bone. A broken bone limits the use of a specific part of your body, but your personality and mental abilities remain unchanged. Most often, bones heal and regain their previous function.

Brain injuries do not heal like other injuries. Recovery is a functional recovery, based on mechanisms that remain uncertain. No two brain injuries are alike and the consequence of two similar injuries may be very different. Symptoms may appear right away or may not be present for days or weeks after the injury. One of the consequences of brain injury is that the person often does not realize that a brain injury has occurred.

Common Misconceptions for Brain Injury Victims

      1. Impact to the head is not necessary to cause a traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries can be caused by rapid acceleration or deceleration that cause the brain to collide into the skull. This happens frequently with car accident victims who are later diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. 
      1. You don’t have to lose consciousness in an accident to suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI), in fact, it is very common for someone to suffer a TBI without losing consciousness. 
      1. You do not necessarily have to stay awake after you’ve hit your head but this largely depends on the victims symptoms. As discussed above, brain injuries are not something to take lightly and it’s best to seek medical care to get a proper treatment plan and diagnosis. 
      1. Concussions are a traumatic brain injury. Although concussion symptoms can be mild and disappear without treatment after a short time, severe concussions can lead to long-lasting damage that lingers for months or even years after the injury occurred. This damage may manifest in symptoms like dizziness, severe headaches and more.
      1. Any time there has been a head injury or a possibility of a traumatic brain injury, you should immediately seek treatment from your doctor. Treatment for a traumatic brain injury is an ongoing process that should be monitored by trained professionals. 

Most Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Most traumatic brain injuries occur as a result of car accidents, which often leave people to suffer through movement impairments, memory loss, and difficulty speaking. As discussed above, traumatic brain injuries can happen from a blow to the head or from rapid acceleration or deceleration of the brain. This type of traumatic brain injury is often associated with severe whiplash. Besides car accidents many people have suffered traumatic brain injuries due to: 

        1. Assaults
        2. Slips and falls
        3. Auto accidents
        4. Trucking accidents
        5. Pedestrian accidents
        6. Motorcycle/bicycle accidents
        7. Sports and recreational accidents
        8. Work/construction site accidents

Most Common Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury

No two brain injuries are the same, they won’t present the same symptoms or heal the same. Traumatic brain injuries are as unique as each of our bodies. Unfortunately, symptoms are not easy to spot; even medical exams aren’t flawless. Catching these symptoms sooner than later is critical for preventing future damage but it is not uncommon for early characteristics of a TBI to be missed. Because of the difficulty in recognizing a traumatic brain injury it is imperative to keep a close watch for TBI symptoms after an accident. Common traumatic brain injury symptoms are: 

        1. Persistent headache
        2. Memory loss
        3. Difficulty sleeping
        4. Coordination problems
        5. Vision problems
        6. Light Sensitivity
        7. Dizziness
        8. Nausea
        9. Depression
        10. Seizures
        11. Change in temperament or personality

If you know someone who is experiencing these symptoms after an accident, it is imperative to seek treatment for them as soon as possible. 

It’s Not Just a Concussion

A medical doctor is the only person qualified to determine whether a person has a concussion, but our office has seen time and time again where people assume something is a concussion to later suffer drastic consequences. Another word for concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury or MTBI. While concussions are not usually life-threatening, serious symptoms can occur from them and they should always be approached with care and involve the victim seeking medical treatment.

Act Immediately, Steps to Take After a Traumatic Brain Injury

Acting quickly can mean the difference between living a full life or one that is extremely impaired. Early recognition and treatment are key and gives the best chance of avoiding brain damage. Symptoms can take time to manifest after a head injury, be cautious of symptoms progressively getting worse. If you encounter or witness someone with a head injury you should. 

        1. Sit the victim down to make sure he/she is stable and safe.
        2. Look for a wound, if there is one, then you should apply pressure to it.
        3. Cautiously check to see if the victim is alert and responsive. Look for signs of dizziness, nausea, loss of memory, headaches, or confusion. 
        4. Once the victim is stable, seek immediate help. 
        5. Immediate emergency care should be sought if the victim is unresponsive or has a deteriorating level of responsiveness. You should also seek immediate emergency help if blood or watery fluid is leaking from the nose or ears, or if there’s an unequal pupil size. 

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