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What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

traumatic brain injuryAs Dallas personal injury attorneys, we handle a lot of car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. We also handle a lot of other types of accidents that cause serious injuries to victims. One type of injury that is commonly diagnosed after an accident is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). What exactly is a TBI? What are its symptoms? Those are the questions we’re going to answer today. We hope that by sharing this information with you that you’re able to spot some of the symptoms if you’re ever involved in an accident or know someone who is.

Definition of a Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury is an injury to the brain that most often occurs because of an outside force. For example, the head slams into the seat, steering wheel, dashboard, or even the ground. An injury of this nature is a medical emergency. They are classified as mild or severe.

Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Before we discuss the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, it’s important for us to let you know that the symptoms don’t always appear directly after the injury takes place. It can take time. If you notice any of the symptoms or if you hit your head and don’t experience symptoms immediately, you should get medical attention as soon as possible. When traumatic brain injuries are left untreated, they can get worse. Even mild brain injuries can continue to affect you for the rest of your life.

Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries

Mild traumatic brain injuries are classified as concussions. However, they may also be diagnosed as minor head trauma, minor head injury, or minor brain injury. This is the most common form of traumatic brain injury. It’s often not diagnosed at the time it occurs. This could be due, in part, to the presentation of little or no symptoms. It could also be due, in part, to the fact that many individuals with a mild TBI do not seek medical care. Individuals diagnosed with a mild TBI may eventually develop post concussive syndrome which may last for one year or even longer.

The most common symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • A disturbance in vision
  • Memory loss
  • Inattentiveness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Problems with sleep
  • Loss of balance
  • Feelings of dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Sensitivity to lights and sounds

Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries

Severe traumatic brain injuries cause permanent damage that can affect you for the rest of your life. The diagnosis of a severe traumatic brain injury (as opposed to a moderate TBI) depends on the amount of time the victim was unconscious. The symptoms of a severe TBI include:

  • Loss of consciousness that has the potential to last several hours
  • Worsening headache
  • Persistent headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Pupil dilation (may be one eye or both eyes)
  • Clear fluid coming from the nose or ears
  • Weakness in the fingers and toes
  • Numbness in the extremities
  • Loss of coordination
  • Extreme confusion
  • Agitation or combative behavior
  • Slurring of speech

Traumatic Brain Injuries in Children

Since babies and children cannot or may not communicate their symptoms, it’s important for parents or other adults to pay close attention to the symptoms above as well as to watch for:

  • A change in eating habits (including nursing)
  • An unusual amount of irritability
  • They are crying a lot and cannot consoled
  • Inattentiveness
  • Their sleep habits change
  • They seem depressed
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • No interest in their favorite toys and activities

Were You Hurt in an Accident?

If you were hurt in an accident and suffered from a traumatic brain injury, call the Law Office of Julie Johnson to schedule your free initial consultation: 214-290-8001. There’s no obligation.