Traumatic brain injuries cause about thirty-percent of all injury-related deaths in the U.S., killing approximately 153 people each day. Those that survive are often negatively affected by the injury for the rest of their lives. In many cases, traumatic brain injuries have lifetime affects on entire families, not just the victims. An important part of treating a traumatic brain injury is identifying the signs and symptoms for rapid treatment.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury to the brain, caused by a blow to the head that disrupts brain functions. TBIs range in severity from mild to severe and can manifest in a variety of ways. Mild TBIs are characterized as a concussion, causing a brief loss of consciousness or change in mental status. Severe TBIs are characterized by longer periods of unconsciousness or significant mental changes, including memory loss.
Signs and Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
Mild TBIs are the most common enter often missed initially. Well the name might indicate that these injuries are insignificant this could not be further from the truth. Approximately 15 percent of mild TBI victims show symptoms that last a year or more. Victims of TBI may experience:
- Memory loss
- Loss of concentration
- Sleep difficulties
- Vision problems
Other less common symptoms of mild TBI can include sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, confusion, loss of the sense of smell, and slowness of thinking.
Moderate TBI occurs when if person loses consciousness and has a Glasgow coma scale of 9 to 12. Severe TBI occurs when there’s a loss of consciousness for more than six hours with the Glasgow coma scale of 3 to 8.
Signs and symptoms of moderate to severe TBI can include:
- Extended periods of confusion
- Inability to process information
- Attention deficit
- Loss of language processing
- Slurred speech
- Reading and writing problems
- Loss of fine motor skills
- Partial or total vision loss
- Inability to judge distance
- Involuntary eye movements
- Loss of hearing
- Chronic pain
- Lack of motivation
With moderate to severe traumatic brain injury the victim may suffer varying degrees of one or more of these symptoms for years. Quality-of-life is significantly decreased both for the victims and their families.
According to the Centers for Disease Control the most common causes of traumatic brain injury are falls. More than half of all emergency department visits and deaths among children have to 14 years old or caused by TBIs caused by falls. The second leading cause of TBI is being struck with an object, accounting for about 15% of all TBI related emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths. Car accidents are the third leading cause of TBI related emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths accounting for approximately 14% of these.
If you’ve been in an accident that caused a traumatic brain injury, schedule a consult with a Texas personal injury lawyer to determine liability and fight for your rights.