What Are Some Signs of a Serious Brain Injury?

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Here we have shared some of the most common signs of a serious brain injury. If your injury was caused by someone else's negligence, contact a brain injury lawyer at Babin Law, LLC today.

A head injury is a type of injury caused to the brain, skull, or scalp. The condition can range from a mild bump or bruise to an extremely severe traumatic brain injury. Common head injuries include concussions, skull fractures, and scalp lesions. The consequences and treatments for these kinds of injuries differ greatly, based on what caused the injury in the first place and its severity.

Head injuries can either be closed or open. A closed head injury doesn’t break the skull, while an open (penetrating) head injury is something that breaks your scalp and skull and enters the brain causing damage to brain cells.

It can be difficult to conclude how serious a head injury is right away. Some minor head injuries bleed a lot, while some severe injuries often don’t bleed at all. It’s essential to diagnose and treat all head injuries seriously and get them examined by a specialist.

In the U.S., every year, almost 2.6 million people suffer from any type of brain injury -- whether because of any trauma, stroke, tumor, or other illnesses, based on the data presented by the Brain Injury Association of America. About 52,000 people die due to traumatic brain injury, while more than 5 million Americans suffering from traumatic brain injury need assistance for executing daily activities.

If you've been injured in a motor vehicle accident leading to a brain injury, team up with a brain injury lawyer in Columbus, Ohio to get compensated for your losses!

What are the Major Types of Head Injuries?

There are several different types of brain injuries. For instance, a brain injury can be triggered by an object entering the brain through the skull, usually considered a penetrating brain injury, or from blunt force trauma or a jolt to the head. In any case, the result can be distressing for the victim.

Based on several preclinical studies, additional studies, brain studies, post-mortem brain tissue studies, precious tissue studies, and human brain tissue studies, the types of brain injuries common in personal injury cases include:

Hematoma

A hematoma is a collection of mostly clotted blood outside the blood vessels. The condition can become very serious if a hematoma forms inside the brain. The clotting can result in pressure building up inside the skull. This can lead to loss of consciousness or permanent brain damage.

Hemorrhage

A hemorrhage is uncontrolled bleeding. The bleeding can be in the space around the brain, called subarachnoid hemorrhage, or bleeding within the brain tissue, called intracerebral hemorrhage.

Subarachnoid hemorrhages often lead to headaches and vomiting. The severity of intracerebral hemorrhages is based on the amount of bleeding, but over time any amount of blood can lead to pressure buildup

Concussion

A concussion occurs when the impact on the head is severe enough to cause brain injury by damaging the brain cells. It’s supposed to be due to the brain hitting against the walls of the skull or the forces of abrupt acceleration and deceleration. Loss of function linked with a concussion is usually temporary. However, repeated concussions can ultimately result in permanent damage.

Edema

Any type of brain injury can lead to edema or swelling. Many injuries can cause swelling of the adjacent tissues, but it’s more severe in case it occurs in the brain. The skull can’t stretch to house the swelling. Therefore, it can lead to pressure buildup in the brain, causing it to press against the skull.

Skull Fracture

The skull quite strong and difficult to break. A broken skull is incapable of absorbing the impact of a blow, making it more susceptible to damage.

When does a Head Injury Require Medical Attention?

Head injuries should never be taken lightly; be on the lookout for the common symptoms. It's essential to consult a doctor right away in case you feel any kind of symptoms pointing toward a serious brain injury. In particular, it's crucial to always seek direct medical attention if you experience any of the following:

  • Double vision (if it persists)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Loss of memory (even if it is a minor memory loss)

Even if you've sustained a mild head injury (i.e., a sports injury or in an accident), be sure to consult with a health care provider. Any complication can hamper normal brain function and keep you from executing your normal activities (especially true for injury in children). Your healthcare provider may recommend imaging tests to check for the effects of any intracranial pressure).

What Are the Three Levels of Brain Injury?

Brain injuries can be characterized as mild, moderate, or severe. The level of brain injury is based on the severity, location, and extent of damage to the brain. Mild brain injuries may or may not result in some provisional confusion or disorientation, but such types of brain injuries commonly heal within a few weeks with minimum medical intervention. 

Moderate brain injuries can result in a variety of symptoms for a few weeks after sustaining the injury. In some cases, complications from a moderate brain injury can last for several months or become permanent.

Severe brain injuries can lead to life-threatening circumstances and they necessitate emergency medical help (depending on the details of the injuries), especially in the case of a serious secondary injury (i.e. alongside a spinal cord injury), repetitive injury, and primary brain injuries. These types of brain injuries have the highest risk of lasting impairments and disabilities. A serious brain injury, also called a traumatic brain injury, can result in a temporary or permanent coma-like state. Direct and extensive medical treatment is compulsory for severe brain injuries.

Depending on the level of consciousness, you may need immediate medical care, even if on the surface all one can see are mild injuries. Only proper diagnostic tests can help give the full picture (even if it looks like a common injury) of their mental status, cognitive difficulties, and physical well-being of the head region. 

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a type of brain injury that is caused by abrupt damage to the brain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has categorized incidents like falls, motor vehicle, and pedestrian-related accidents, collision-related events, and fierce assaults as the leading causes of TBI. Usually, during an accident, damages are caused when someone hits their head against something while being stuck inside a car.

This usually results in two different types of damage referred to as primary and secondary trauma. The first, known as primary brain damage, takes place at the moment of impression and usually includes skull fractures, bleeding in the brain, and blood clots. Then there are secondary brain damages that usually develop after the accident and can’t be noticed instantly, including increased blood pressure within the skull, seizures, and brain swelling.

Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury

There are various symptoms of brain damage, whether traumatic or acquired.

These symptoms and compensatory strategies (for medical providers) have been long discussed by the Brain Injury Association, concussion injury specialists, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention, several NINDS-funded studies and observational studies, specialists in cognitive rehabilitation interventions, Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine experts, Cognitive rehabilitation therapy specialists, National Rehabilitation Information Center, and U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

The symptoms of primary injuries to the brain, or single head injury fall into the following major categories:

Physical Brain Injury Symptoms

The physical brain injury symptoms include:

  • Headache, particularly if persistent
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or tiredness
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Fatigue
  • Weak or numb limbs
  • Loss of perception
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Dilation of one or both pupils
  • Clear fluids withdrawing from the nose or ears

Cognitive Brain Injury Symptoms

The cognitive brain damage symptoms usually include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty with concentration or memory
  • Depression, anxiety, or agitation
  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Coma

Sensory Brain Injury Symptoms

Sensory brain injury symptoms include the following:

  • Light or sound sensitivity
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Blurry vision
  • Loss of smell or phantom smells
  • Bad taste in the mouth

Behavioral Brain Damage Symptoms

Behavioral or emotional symptoms of brain damage include:

  • Irritability and impatience
  • Condensed tolerance for stress
  • Sluggishness
  • Flattened or heightened emotions or reactions
  • Denial of disability
  • Augmented aggressiveness

Risks of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Moderate to severe TBIs can result in persistent physical and cognitive symptoms that eternally impact the daily lifestyle of a person. According to the CDC, almost 80-90,000 people every year deal with long-term disability, and further on about 50,000 people die from traumatic brain injuries, therefore it’s critical to seriously consider head injuries and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Traumatic encephalopathy, high brain temperature, and fluid buildup are some of the complications associated with TBIs which can affect the rate of recovery, compromise reaction time, and may even prove to be life-threatening.

But in some cases, even mild TBIs can lead to expensive medical bills and loss of work. If someone else’s carelessness or negligent actions caused TBI, a brain injury lawyer can help the victims to get the compensation they deserve for their expenses.

The risk of a serious brain injury is very real in motor vehicle accidents; even moderate injuries to the head can lead to serious complications such as disruption of the flow of blood to the brain. Many clinical studies have confirmed that you need to consider treatment options and neurological tests with your doctor if you've been exposed to risk factors (accidents due to no handrails on stairways or stair safety gates, exposure to trip hazards, lack of any injury prevention strategy) for complete recovery.

How Are Brain Damage and Injuries Treated?

Anyone suffering from head or brain injury (depending on the spectrum of injury severity) requires immediate medical attention, especially brain tissue oxygen monitoring and care for dead brain tissue in severe cases which necessitate effective treatment strategies for hospital treatment.

A brain injury that seems mild,­­­ such as a concussion, can be as threatening as severe injuries. The main factor is the extent and site of damage. A brain injury does not always lead to long-term disability or impairment. But the appropriate diagnosis and treatment are still required to encompass or minimize the damage.

The extent and effect of brain damage are determined by several types of neurological exams, neuroimaging testing like MRI or CT scans, and neurological evaluations. Specialists stabilize the patient to avert further injury, certify blood and oxygen flow to the brain, and confirm that blood pressure is controlled.

Almost all patients can benefit from rehabilitation to assist in long-term recovery. That may include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Psychological support

Team Up With A Brain Injury Lawyer In Ohio

If you or your loved one have been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of others and suffered a traumatic brain injury or concussion, the first thing to do is ensure that you’re okay. Seek medical treatment right away.

After being treated by a medical professional, the next step should be to consult with a brain injury lawyer from Babin Law, LLC in Columbus, Ohio. Serious brain injury cases tend to be complicated, and it’s a good idea to have assistance from someone experienced in different cases of brain injury who can competently help fight for suitable compensation for both the initiation of treatment and future potential treatments (among other damages).

If you’ve sustained a TBI in Ohio or the surrounding area, a brain injury lawyer at Babin Law, LLC is more than ready to help. Contact our legal team today for a case evaluation.

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