There is often a lot of confusion around the diagnosis of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The reason for this is that a TBI can mean many different things. There are mild TBIs, which are what most people call concussions. There are also more severe TBIs, which include bleeding in the brain and damage that can cause severe, permanent damage – both cognitively and physically.
The Mayo Clinic has defined Traumatic Brain Injury simply as, “Occurring when an external mechanical force causes brain dysfunction.” The problem with this is that the term ‘dysfunction’ can mean many different things.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) uses this definition:
“A TBI is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI. The severity of a TBI may range from “mild” (i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness) to “severe” (i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or memory loss after the injury). Most TBIs that occur each year are mild, commonly called concussions.”
The website TraumaticBrainInjury.com, adds this about TBIs.
“Traumatic Brain Injuries are most often an acute event similar to other injuries. A brain injury is different from a broken limb or punctured lung. Brain injuries do not heal like other injuries. No two brain injuries are alike and the consequence of two similar injuries may be very different. Symptoms may appear right away or may not be present for days or weeks after the injury.”
Knowing when a TBI has occurred can be challenging. If you suffer a bad enough blow to the head that you went to the hospital, there are several tests that can be performed. However, even CT Scans and MRIs don’t necessarily show when there has been damage to the brain. It’s often not until days or weeks later that you might realize that you are experiencing symptoms that are tied to the head trauma. So it is important that both you and someone else pay attention to the list of warning signs that are provided after your doctor’s visit.
The National Institutes of Health offer these examples of symptoms of people who suffered a TBI.
“Symptoms of a TBI may not appear until days or weeks following the injury. A concussion is the mildest type. It can cause a headache or neck pain, nausea, ringing in the ears, dizziness, and tiredness. People with a moderate or severe TBI may have those, plus other symptoms:
- A headache that gets worse or does not go away
- Repeated vomiting or nausea
- Convulsions or seizures
- Inability to awaken from sleep
- Slurred speech
- Weakness or numbness in the arms and legs
- Dilated eye pupils”
If you think you have suffered a TBI, it’s important to go see a doctor right away. There can be many complications regarding Traumatic Brain Injuries and if they aren’t addressed right away, it can lead to severe brain damage and even death.
At Owen Patterson & Owen, we have helped many victims who have suffered Traumatic Brain Injures as a result of accidents or the negligence of others. If you have questions regarding your legal options, please contact us or call us at 800-676-5295.