What Are the Invisible Signs of a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Approximately 1.7 million Americans suffer traumatic brain injuries every year. Traumatic brain injuries may occur with a blow to the head or when an object penetrates the skull, if brain’s ability to function is interrupted. Traumatic brain injuries may occur in motor vehicle accidents, slips and falls, sports accidents, assaults, and a number of other incidents. Serious traumatic brain injuries may cause permanent disability or death.
One of the most frightening things about traumatic brain injuries is that many have few observable symptoms. This is why it is so important to seek medical attention any time an individual has suffered a blow to the skull. In many cases, the victim feels fine at first, but the brain injury increases in severity. For example, actress Natasha Richardson fell while skiing on a beginner’s slope in 2009 and refused medical treatment, telling husband Liam Neeson that she’d “taken a tumble in the snow.” Mere hours later, the actress was brain dead and ultimately passed away a few days later.
The signs of a traumatic brain injury may include any of the following:
- Fatigue and sleepiness
- Sleep changes
- Changes in senses of sight, smell, or taste
- Inability to concentrate
- Memory problems
- Emotional changes
These symptoms may not appear right away after a blow to the head. In fact, they may appear several days or even weeks later. Many victims think that these symptoms may be caused by something else, such as stress at work or not getting enough sleep—and fail to get checked out for a possible brain injury.
How are traumatic brain injuries diagnosed?
Only a medical professional is able to diagnose a traumatic brain injury. Those who have suffered head injuries should be seen at an emergency room as soon as possible.
First, the medical professional checks the victim’s heart and lung function. The entire body is examined and a neurological evaluation is also conducted. The neurological exam implements the use of the Glasgow Coma Scale, which examines a patient’s responsiveness levels. The patient’s ability to speak and follow commands, as well as the patient’s eye movements, is evaluated.
Imaging is essential to diagnosing many traumatic brain injuries. CT scans are able to pick up the presence of blood in the brain, as well as any fractures that may be present. CT scans are processed much more quickly than MRIs, so these tests are often preferred for diagnosing possible brain injuries.
Surgery may also be necessary for some traumatic brain injuries. Once the injury has been diagnosed, the patient may need to be quickly moved into the operating room so that the damage to the brain may be thoroughly assessed and repaired.
The sooner a patient is treated for a traumatic brain injury, the better the outcome should be for that patient. Waiting too late to seek treatment may mean the difference between life and death.
At Leonard Legal Group, we hold negligent individuals accountable
The New Jersey brain injury attorneys at Leonard Legal Group assist injured victims suffering from traumatic brain injuries, helping them obtain the compensation they deserve. When it comes to a serious injury like a TBI, don’t settle for just any attorney to represent you. Our attorneys are leaders in the field. Attorney Scott G. Leonard is Board Certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Civil Trial Lawyer, a designation achieved by less than 2 percent of all New Jersey attorneys and is based on education, experience, knowledge, skill and the successful completion of a rigorous certification process. To schedule a free consultation, call 973-984-1414 or contact us online. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help.