Traumatic Brain Injury Basics
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Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can occur any time the head suffers a blow, jolt, or bump. The most frequent cause of traumatic brain injuries is personal injuries, such as auto accidents and falls.
Every year, millions of Americans suffer from brain injuries, and over half of those are severe enough to warrant a visit to the hospital. TBIs can be very serious and result in long-term damage, health concerns, and even death.
Because TBIs can lead to very severe, long-term health issues, it is important to know and understand the basics of this type of injury. Being able to spot the signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury will be helpful in addressing the damage quickly, which may reduce the overall effect of the wound.
Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries
TBI symptoms vary widely from person to person. Many people assume that you must lose consciousness to suffer a traumatic brain injury. However, this is not the case. You may lose consciousness, but that is not required for all TBIs.
A concussion is the mildest type of TBI, but it is also perhaps the most well-known kind. You may suffer from headaches, neck pain, ringing in the ears, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue when you suffer from a concussion. Again, you may or may not lose consciousness even when you have a concussion.
More severe forms of TBI may include the following symptoms:
- Headaches that get worse or do not go away
- Inability to wake from sleep
- Dilated eye pupils or sensitivity to light
- Slurred speech (or other sensory problems such as having a bad taste in the mouth or changes in the ability to smell)
- Convulsions or seizures
- loss of coordination
- Repeated vomiting or nausea
- Numbness or numbness in the arms and legs
- Confusion, agitation, or other unusual behaviors
If you suffer from any of the above symptoms, it is a good idea to seek immediate medical attention.
You should also keep in mind that symptoms of TBI sometimes do not arise for hours or even days until after the physical damage occurred. Keeping a close watch on loved ones who may have suffered from a TBI is extremely important.
Tests and Treatment for TBIs
Acute TBI’s will need emergency treatment. Medical professionals use a variety of neurological tests and exams to determine whether a TBI has occurred, including an MRI or CT scan. Sometimes, acting quickly can prevent long-term damage or death, particularly if you have a brain bleed or bruising.
Depending on the severity of the TBI, treatment can range from simple rest to taking steps to ensure that the brain has enough oxygen and maintaining blood pressure. In severe cases, those with a TBI also often have other injuries that need to be addressed.
Some medications may be appropriate for severe TBIs. These often include diuretics, which reduce the amount of fluid in tissues and increase urine output. This type of medicine is used to lessen the pressure inside the brain. Anti-seizure medication may also be appropriate, and it is often administered during the first week after a TBI to avoid additional brain damage.
Because TBI’s are often associated with accidents, your personal injury may be compensable under the law. Contact our team to discuss your legal options if you are a loved one has suffered from a TBI after an accident.