Head Injury: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Head injuries are bruises, bumps, or traumatic occurrences that cause damage to the skull, scalp, or brain. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is damage that affects the brain.
TBIs vary from mild bumps to severe cases that can result in serious complications. Treatment depends on the severity and the part of the head that was injured.
Head injuries are dangerous. They can cause mental impairment, disability, and even death. According to the Brain Injury Alliance of Connecticut, 2.8 million Americans suffer a brain injury each year, with more than 56,000 people dying each year.
Types of Head Injuries
A concussion occurs when the brain hits the walls of the skull due to impact or being shaken. It results in an instant loss of function and awareness temporarily. However, repeated concussions can be severe and lead to permanent damage.
Occurs when the skull bone breaks. Pieces of the bone can puncture the brain, causing bleeding and damage.
This is a bruise on the brain itself. Contusions can cause bleeding in the brain due to shattered blood vessels or swelling resulting from intracranial pressure.
Bleeding can occur in the brain (intracerebral hemorrhage) or the spaces surrounding the brain (subarachnoid hemorrhage).
These are blood clots that occur in and around the brain. They are classified depending on their location.
Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI)
These occur when the brain is shaken back and forth. It hits the skull and results in brain damage. DAI is commonly experienced in car accidents, shaken baby syndrome, or falls. It can be very severe with damage in different parts of the brain and result in permanent damage or even death.
Common causes of head injuries include the following:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Slip and falls
- Acts of violence
- Bleeding disorders
- Some recreational drugs
- Child abuse
- Sports-related accidents
- Use of blood thinners
Symptoms of head injuries vary depending on the severity of the injury and the damage caused.
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
- Bumps or bruises
- Blurred vision
- Altered sleep patterns
- Ringing in the ears
- Changes in taste
- Memory loss
- Lack of concentration
- Feeling sluggish and fatigued
- Sensitivity to noise and light
Moderate to Severe Brain Injury
Symptoms can be any of the above, including the following:
- Stiff neck
- Loss of consciousness
- Loss of coordination
- Low breathing rate
- Bloody or clear liquid from the mouth, ears, or nose
- Pale skin
- Inability or difficulty when walking
- Short-term memory loss
- Severe headache that persists
- Deep cut in the scalp
Diagnosis and Treatment
You may not completely understand the extent of the injury immediately after the accident. A doctor will carry out diagnostic tests and examinations to diagnose the injury, and possible medical follow up.
Diagnosis tests include blood tests and a CT scan to check for fractures, swelling, bleeding, or clots. You might also get an MRI scan for a more detailed view of the brain.
Your doctor may also give you a neurological examination to assess the brain and nerve function. Physical examination is also necessary to look for any bumps, bruises, or signs of trauma.
Treatment depends on the severity of the injury and other factors such as your age and medical history. If the injury was minor with no symptoms except pain, you might get pain medication. Severe injuries may require hospitalization. Sometimes, surgery or induced coma may be necessary.
Treatment can be expensive, especially if you require hospitalization, monitoring, or medical follow-up. However, if the head injury resulted from someone’s negligence, they should cater to your medical bills. Dbklawyers.com can help you with your medical expenses.
Consult a Doctor
Head injuries can be dangerous. Some are mild, with no severe consequences, while others can cause life-changing complications. Do not hesitate to consult a doctor after the injury. And if someone caused it, you have a right to compensation.