Brain injuries and concussions are often not well documented after an accident. The first medical providers often do not ask all the questions that may point to such an injury. If you or a person close to you is involved in a serious accident with brain damage, head injury or concussion, and you suspect a closed head injury, brain damage, concussion or other serious injuries, you should seek the best medical treatment and as soon as possible. The person should also consult with an experienced attorney who understands this particular injury as early as possible. The Karlin Law Firm LLP, with offices in Tustin and Newport Beach, Orange County, is knowledgeable about Tinnitus in relation to auto accidents, in Orange County, Los Angeles, and Tustin, Orange County.
The Mayo Clinic defines concussion as any head injury that temporarily affects normal brain functions. Most concussions are mild and do not cause loss of consciousness, but this is not always the case. Also, in an accident there may be a loss of memory for a few seconds at the point of impact, and because of this, the patient does not recall hitting their head.
Symptoms may include one or more of the following:
- Ringing in the ears
- Slurred speech
- Blurred vision
- Memory problems
- Flights of anger
Concussion victims also may be confused, unable to concentrate or have difficulty balancing. In other cases, symptoms do not surface until hours or days after the incident. These secondary symptoms include mood swings, sensitivity to light and noise, and changes in sleep patterns.
Brain contusions are bruises of the brain tissue that occur as a result of brain trauma. In some cases, brain contusions lead to hemorrhages, which are absorbed into the brain tissue. If blood is absorbed into the cerebrospinal fluid it can cause permanent neurological damage. Brain contusions are localized, a characteristic that distinguishes them from concussions, which are more diffuse (spread out).
Brain contusions are present in 20 to 30 percent of all severe head injuries. People suffering from brain contusions may feel weak or numb, may lose coordination or experience with memory or cognitive problems, or may have mood swings, including feeling of frustration and/or anger.
Because brain contusions and other head injuries can increase intracranial pressure, it is important to seek immediate medical care after any head injury.
Diffuse Axonal Injury
One of the most debilitating traumatic brain injuries is diffuse axonal injury. Frequently caused by high-speed transportation accidents – and sometimes associated with shaken baby syndrome – diffuse axonal injury causes permanent damage to nerves in the brain. As with other closed head injuries, diffuse axonal injury may cause brain swelling and intracranial pressure. But unlike more minor closed head injuries, severe diffuse axonal injuries lead to vegetative states or comas in 90 percent of patients.
Intracranial hematoma occurs when the brain is forced against the inside of the skull, resulting in a pool of blood outside the blood vessels of the brain or in between the skull and brain. The brain is not designed to drain this much fluid. As a result, intracranial hematoma can compress brain tissue, requiring immediate medical attention. Blood that collects in the brain, or in between the brain and skull, may lead to unconsciousness, seizures and/or lethargy.
Closed Head Injury Complications
A traumatic brain injury can put a patient at risk of developing a variety of complications, including intracranial pressure and swelling of the brain. Patients with serious closed head injuries may suffer from:
- Nerve damage
- Cognitive disabilities
- Communication difficulties
- Personality changes
- Changes in sensory perception
- Post-concussion syndrome
Most patients suffering from mild closed head injury report headaches, dizziness and short-term memory loss. A severe closed head injury can lead to death or cause a patient to remain in a permanent vegetative state.
Closed Head Injury Treatment
Traumatic brain injury treatment, such as for closed head injury, depends on the severity of the injury. For patients with mild injuries, doctors recommend rest and over-the-counter pain relievers. Patients with serious closed head injuries require additional medical attention.
Anyone involved in any accident resulting in serious injuries, including closed head injuries, brain damage and concussion, should seek the best medical treatment and as soon as possible. The person should also consult with an experienced attorney who understands this particular injury as early as possible. The Karlin Law Firm LLP, with offices in Tustin and Newport Beach, Orange County, is knowledgeable about brain damage, brain injuries and concussions in relation to auto accidents.