Some of the most serious injuries that can be sustained in personal injury accidents are injuries to the head. A traumatic brain injury – often abbreviated “TBI” – can vary in severity from mild concussions that leave minimal lasting injuries to severe TBIs that can leave victims with permanent disabilities.
A TBI victim’s prognosis can depend in part on the ability of the victim (or the victim’s parent, if the victim is a child) to recognize the signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury and seek medical attention when necessary.
Traumatic brain injuries can result in a wide range of signs and symptoms, depending on the severity of the injury to the brain. According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury in an adult may include:
- Loss of consciousness (generally speaking, the longer the period of unconsciousness, the more severe the injury)
- Dizziness and headaches
- Fatigue, drowsiness, and changes in sleeping patterns (sleeping more than usual, for instance)
- Blurred vision, ringing in the ears, sensitivity to light and sound, and changes in the sense of smell or taste
- Trouble concentrating and recalling information
- Feeling depressed, anxious, and experiencing mood swings
Moderate or severe traumatic brain injuries can also include repeated nausea and vomiting, convulsions/seizures, slurred speech, extreme confusion, and unusual combativeness and agitation.
Determining if your child has suffered a traumatic brain injury can be difficult because young children and infants often cannot communicate to their parents if they are feeling confused or if their head hurts. Instead, parents must be observant of behavioral changes and other clues that might suggest that their child has a traumatic brain injury.
The Mayo Clinic encourages parents to look for:
- Changes in the child’s eating or nursing habits
- Easy or unusual irritability or an inability to be consoled
- Sad or depressed mood or persistent crying
- Loss or change of interest in activities or toys that the child previously enjoyed
- Change in the child’s ability to pay attention
- Changes in the child’s sleep patterns (unusual sleepiness or falling asleep at unusual times
Parents should observe their child closely if their child has suffered a head injury and be prepared to take their child to the doctor or emergency room if necessary. It can be helpful to doctors and medical professionals if you are able to provide a timeline that includes when the head injury occurred, what symptoms and signs you noticed, and when you noticed these symptoms.
When to See a Doctor
The decision of whether to see a doctor or go to the emergency room after a head injury can be difficult. If you or your child suffer a head injury and are now experiencing symptoms that cause concern about a traumatic brain injury, you should err on the side of caution and visit a doctor as soon as possible. If you or your child lose consciousness or are dizzy following a blow to the head, it is a good idea to seek immediate medical attention.
The South Carolina personal injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm are available to assist you and your family after a traumatic brain injury as a result of another person’s carelessness or reckless behavior. Contact us for prompt and compassionate assistance after suffering a TBI by calling our office or contacting us online.