The danger in a concussion injury hides in the inability to see it! Time is always of the essence when dealing with any type of Traumatic Brain Injury, and no blow to the head should ever be left untreated simply because the victim isn’t actively experiencing a “headache”. Concussions are silent killers, and any blow to the head whether on the football field or from a car accident, requires transport to the hospital as soon as possible.
Sometimes a concussion injury occurs while playing contact sports, or from injuries in car or motorcycle accident. Regardless, the severity of this type of injury is easy to ignore. Putting it off due to lack of visible symptoms is a common mistake. People usually don’t associate concussions with Traumatic Brain Injuries. However, that is exactly what they are. When a person sustains a blow to the head after an accident, transport to a hospital is always necessary whether or not injuries are visible. Diagnostic imaging can determine the extent of any injuries invisible simply by looking at the victim.
It’s important to remember that not every head injury is visible, and thorough imaging must be performed to rule out severe and life threatening complications after a blow to the head. This article will seek to explain what, exactly, a concussion is. We’ll also provide insight on how this type of injury is treated while briefly exploring other types of brain injuries.
What causes a concussion?
The CDC defines a concussion as follows:
“A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.”
Now, let’s look at specific accidents that can be the cause of a TBI:
- Contact sports such as football and wrestling
- Motorcycle accidents
- Car accidents where the head moves rapidly back and forth. These accidents can also cause whiplash and spinal cord injuries.
- Hit-and-run accidents in which a pedestrian is struck
Why are concussion injuries time sensitive?
When it comes to assessing and treating head injuries of any kind time is of the essence. Traumatic Brain Injuries such as concussions are some of the most time sensitive injuries that paramedics treat. These injuries can cause permanent injury, but if left untreated, can ultimately be fatal.
Concussions from car accidents and contact sports are two of the most serious. However, any blow to the head, no matter the severity, can cause a concussion. That’s why it’s important not to forget that minor injuries such as falls while children are roughhousing are equally as serious as striking one’s head on a hard surface or a sports injury.
Who is susceptible to a concussion?
Concussions affect people of all ages, but can be especially detrimental to children, whose brains are still growing. Head injuries need to be evaluated by a doctor as quickly as possible. Let’s face it, moms and dads pose concern, but are not medical professionals able to determine if a head injury is serious. Concussions can become severe quickly, resulting in fatalities. In certain cases, victims have died from declining treatment at the onset of the injury. It’s never smart to “wait it out” just because a victim isn’t in pain. Concussions are a silent but extreme threat requiring immediate medical attention.
In recent years, the scary reality of fatalities from concussions has come to light more prominently. The unfortunate timing of seeking medical care tragically took the life of award winning actress Natasha Richardson. Mrs. Richardson initially declined immediate treatment for a fall during a ski trip, as she didn’t “have a headache”, thus assumed she was well. She could not have been expected to think otherwise. Most people without visible or painful physical symptoms do not believe they need to see a doctor.
What are the physical symptoms?
Now, let’s look at the signs and symptoms after a fall or blow to the head that may signal a concussion. While they may seem like invisible injuries, knowing what to look for can actually save a life after a blow to the head.
The physical symptoms of concussion that a victim may complain of hours or even days after a blow to the head:
- Balance problems
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Blurry vision
The mental symptoms of concussion that those caring for an injured victim must be aware to look for:
- Memory problems
- Difficulty with concentration
- Loss of focus
There are also less obvious symptoms such as sleep disturbances. These include more or less sleeping or inability to fall asleep. Changes in mood or behavior that those around a victim may not immediately associate with a possible concussion. However, combining these symptoms with a blow to the head, they should be addressed.
#ShakedMedFact: It’s necessary to make sure a victim who suffers a concussion stays awake until a doctor has given the “all clear” to allow them to sleep. Sleeping can put a concussed victim into a comatose state. This can be extremely life-threatening.
What happens after a concussion?
After a concussion sustained in an accident it’s important to seek legal advice. A lawyer with experience in Traumatic Brain Injury will know the next steps to take when pursuing those who caused their client bodily harm. Each Traumatic Brain Injury case is unique. This means it depends on the injuries and whether the Statute of Limitations allows the case to go to trial. Only a lawyer with experience in TBI, and who has seen a TBI trial to verdict, should take point as the Senior Lawyer on this type of case.
What is a client’s legal recourse on head injuries?
It’s important that someone close to the victim documents the accident. This includes the time and date, the cause of the accident, and symptoms the victim experiences immediately after. Concussion may cause temporary, partial, or permanent memory loss. That’s why it’s important to have thorough documentation available to reference. Concussions are longterm injuries that have lasting effects. Victims should always receive maximum compensation.