Every year, traumatic brain injuries contribute to a substantial number of permanent disability cases and deaths. In fact, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were more than 64,000 TBI-related deaths in 2020 alone. This amounts to approximately 176 TBI-related deaths each day. In 2019, the U.S. saw approximately 611 TBI-related hospitalizations per day, for a total of 223,135 that year, many of which are related to severe injuries after car accidents.
These figures do not include the TBIs that emergency room (ER) departments, urgent care centers or primary care doctors treated. They also do not include the many that go untreated each year.
Though not the leading cause of TBIs, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of TBI-related deaths. In fact, nearly a quarter of a million TBI-related ER visits stem from motor vehicle accidents of some sort each year.
The bottom line is, TBI can be a severe injury — especially when left untreated. For this reason, if you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is crucial that you familiarize yourself with the signs of traumatic brain injury and seek traumatic brain injury treatment right away.
At the very least, see an assessment from a car accident injury doctor to rule out a brain injury or to get on the path to recovery as soon after the accident as possible.
The symptoms of a TBI vary from person to person and depend largely on the severity of the injury in question. Medical professionals categorize head injuries in one of three ways: as mild, moderate, and severe.
Understandably, symptoms become progressively more alarming the more severe a car accident head injury is.
The symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury may be physical, sensory and/or cognitive in nature.
They may include but are not limited to the following:
If you notice any of these symptoms after a car wreck, seek a diagnosis and possibly traumatic brain injury treatment right away. Also, remember that concussion symptoms can be a sign of mild TBI.
The signs of a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) may be more overt and worrisome the more severe the head injury is. Symptoms may develop within an hour of the car wreck or take days to manifest.
It is crucial that you and/or your loved ones keep an eye out for physical and cognitive symptoms after head trauma, such as the following:
If you or a loved one develop any of these symptoms of moderate to severe brain injury following a car crash, seek treatment from a qualified car accident head injury doctor right away.
Many symptoms of traumatic brain injury are internal. As a result, children who develop TBIs may not have the words or even the ability to communicate what they are feeling, such as headache, fatigue, sleep disturbances, weird taste in the mouth, etc.
If your child was an occupant in a vehicle involved in a collision, keep a close eye on him or her for days to weeks after the incident.
Some symptoms you can observe that should prompt a visit to the doctor are as follows:
Ideally, you will have your child assessed for a TBI shortly after an auto collision, just in case. However, if you choose not to, pay close attention to him or her for any of the aforementioned symptoms or changes in behavior.
Traumatic brain injuries are often medical emergencies. Unfortunately, too many victims are unaware they even have a TBI and/or fail to recognize them as the emergencies they are. However, without immediate treatment, a victim’s condition after brain injuries may rapidly worsen and the risk of consequences increases.
If you suspect that you or a loved one developed a TBI in a car crash, mention your concerns to the responding paramedics, the doctor in the emergency room and/or your primary care doctor. The attending healthcare professional may use one or all of three means to diagnose a TBI:
Doctors may use each of these tests to diagnose the presence of a brain injury. However, to determine the severity of a TBI, they will refer to the Glasgow Coma Scale.
Sometimes paramedics or ER personnel will use the Glasgow Coma Scale to quickly assess for the presence of a TBI. However, many medical professionals use it after a confirmed TBI diagnosis to determine the severity of the injury.
The scale uses a 15-point test that assesses a person’s abilities to move their eyes and limbs and to follow directions. It also assesses injured persons’ coherence of speech. The goal of this test to determine the severity of a head injury.
The test giver will score the test taker’s abilities on a scale of three to 15. The higher a person’s score, the less severe his or her injury.
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