How to Recognize a Brain Injury

*Natalie Prescott is a San Diego personal injury attorney who handles brain injury and other serious personal injury cases.  She helps clients who have suffered serious injuries after an accident, including brain injuries and other types of trauma. She lives in San Diego and has two children.

Whether you are the parent of a young athlete or a fan of any major sport, chances are, you have heard recent chatter within the sports community about traumatic brain injury.  Also known as TBI, this type of injury impacts an estimated 1.7 million people in the United States each year and is a contributing factor to one-third of all injury-related deaths.  Within the past decade, medical professionals have seen a rapid increase in these numbers, partially attributed to increased awareness and more advanced diagnostic capabilities. A new study just released in 2013 helps shed light on this complex trauma.

What Is a Concussion?

Approximately 75% of traumatic brain injuries that occur each year are concussion-related or are other mild forms of TBI.  A concussion is the least severe yet most common type of brain injury.  Although a concussion is a mild form of TBI, the mechanism of a concussion is very different than that of a more severe traumatic brain injury.  A concussion most commonly occurs when a fall or impact “shakes” the brain and temporarily disrupts its function.  This can result in a brief lapse of consciousness followed by a severe headache.  Symptoms of a concussion include a temporary loss of consciousness, severe headache, confusion, amnesia related to the traumatic event, and fatigue.  Although painful, a concussion will often resolve itself once a diagnosis has been made without further medical intervention.

More Severe Head Trauma:

A more severe traumatic brain injury, however, results from the same type of injury and can often exhibit similar symptoms, even though the actual trauma to the brain itself is very different.  This type of TBI occurs when the injury causes bleeding on the surface of the brain, or swelling of the brain itself.

A severe TBI is a potentially critical condition and can result in permanent disability or even death.  Changes in coordination, vomiting, slurred speech, a prolonged lapse of consciousness, or fluid discharge from the ears or nose are all indicators of a potential severe TBI and require immediate medical attention.

Tests Are Not Always Conclusive:

Even after a severe TBI has been ruled out by a CAT scan, if the symptoms of a concussion persist or elevate to include dizziness, sensitivity to light, trouble concentrating or irritability, the patient could be suffering from post-concussion syndrome and should be monitored by a medical professional.  Recent studies suggest a potential link between recurring or long-lasting inflammation to the brain and a higher risk of cognitive impairment later on in life.  Any patient who has experienced multiple concussions or head injuries should be sure their physician is aware of the injuries and can monitor them for any long-term residual effects.

When You Need Legal Help:

If you or your loved one were injured in an accident, you may be wondering if you can seek compensation from the party responsible for that injury.  Our firm handles many personal injury cases involving head injuries and ranging from concussions to the most serious types of TBI.  We are well-versed in these issues, and we work with top-notch medical experts who help our clients recover and prove their claims in court.  Call us today for a free consultation and to discuss resources that are available to brain-injury victims.

*DISCLAIMER:  The information contained in this post and on this website may contain LEGAL ADVERTISEMENT.  It does not constitute and should not be construed as a legal advice or medical advice.  Similar results are not guaranteed.  Past results are no guarantee of future results.  The information in this article is provided for general informational purposes only.  The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, this information may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances. No attorney-client relationship is formed, nor should any such relationship be implied. Nothing on this blog is intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. If you require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.

 by Natalie Prescott

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