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Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) have become an increasingly popular topic among sports teams, schools, and recreational activities. As the need for better safety equipment and standards rises, it is important to understand what a traumatic brain injury is, what causes it, and what the signs are that one has occurred.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
The CDC defines a traumatic brain injury as “disruption in the normal function of the brain caused by a bump, blow, jolt to the head, or a penetrating head injury.” The severity of brain injury is dependent on the force of the impact and can range from mild to severe. Traumatic brain injuries can result in a change in an individual’s mental state, result in loss of consciousness, or lead to amnesia. In the worst cases, a traumatic brain injury can lead to death.
What Causes a TBI?
Traumatic brain injuries may have become synonymous with sports and recreational activities, but in reality, everyone is at risk for a TBI. A bad fall, a car accident, gunshot wound, or even physical aggression can result in an individual suffering from a traumatic brain injury.
Traumatic brain injuries are a result of the brain colliding with the inside of the skull which can result in bruising, tearing of nerve fibers, and bleeding. If the skull is fractured in the impact, or another foreign object pierces the skull, this can penetrate the brain tissue, leading to serious damage.
What Are the Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury?
An individual suffering from a traumatic brain injury may notice symptoms at once, others may not notice anything until 24 hours after the incident, and some symptoms may not emerge for a few days to weeks later. This makes noticing a traumatic brain injury incredibly difficult, as some individuals may not relate their symptoms (which can range from subtle to severe) to the injury.
Initial symptoms may go unnoticed as they occur within the brain, such as bruising, and swelling. Increased pressure on the brain from swelling can result in tissue damage and pressure on the blood vessels, reducing their ability to supply the brain with proper oxygen and nutrients.
One of the biggest risks after a traumatic brain injury is internal bleeding. The signs of internal bleeding are often subtle but knowing what to look for can help save an individual’s life, as they can indicate a life-threatening injury. If you notice bruising behind the ears or bruising around the eyes, then you need to seek medical attention right away.
Other indications of severe TBI include:
- Repeated vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Loss of coordination
- Weakness in the limbs or hands and feet
- Dilated pupils
- Severe headaches
- Inability to wake up after sleeping
Other symptoms of a TBI injury include:
- Changes in mood or attitude
- Difficulty with short-term memory
- Inability to remember the accident or before the accident
- Persistent headaches
- Persistent pain in the neck
- Slowness in thinking
- Slow reading
- Slow actions
- Difficulty speaking
- Sleep pattern changes, such as sleeping more or less than usual
- Becoming easily distracted
- Increased sensitivity to light or sounds
- Loss of a sense of smell or taste
- Ringing in the ears
What Do I Do When I Have a Traumatic Brain Injury
The first thing to do when you suspect that you or a loved one has sustained a traumatic brain injury is to seek medical attention right away. If you have been in a car accident, sports injury accident, or in an incident where you hit your head, it may be best to get checked out whether you feel symptoms or not. Sometimes, symptoms do not show up until a few days later.
Remember, if your accident was caused by the negligence of another, your trusted personal injury attorneys at the Hernandez Law Group, P.C. can help you get the compensation you deserve. Our team is led by Juan Hernandez, who is one of the 2% of Texas Personal Injury Attorneys who is Texas Board Certified for Personal Injury Law. We provide a free, no-obligation consultation so that we can go over the specifics of your case and decide which action would be in your best interest. Contact the team that will fight for you!