Every year there are 1.5 million traumatic brain injuries (TBI) with 800,000 of them being mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI).
Many of these brain injuries go undiagnosed. The result of this case be increased costs and result in loss of productivity, both at home and work. Identifying a mild to moderate brain injury can be challenging if other diagnosies, such as orthopedic injuries, are involved. This is why so many car wreck consussions are missed.
Do you have to have a loss of consciousness?
No, a loss of consciousness is not required to have a concussion.
Do you have to hit your head on something hard?
No, you do not have to hit your head on something hard or even hit your head at all. A concussion is typically associated with hitting your head, but it doesn't have to be. The most common types of trauma related concussions in car wrecks occur when you have a side impact causing you to hit your head on the window. It can also be caused by a whiplash effect hitting the headrest. There are many ways and things that can hit your head in a car wreck.
What will you have sensitivity to?
You may have sensitivity to any of the following, including more than one:
- Busy Environments
What will you have complaints of?
When you have any brain injury, but specifically concussions, many of the symptoms seem like minor issues. However, when you add them up, the cumulative effect is devastating. On the outside, you look fine or people are only worried about your visible injuries. On the inside, your brain is tragically effected.
This is a list of symptoms you may have. Again, you may be having complaints of more than one:
- Poor Balance
- Fatiguing Easily
- Ringing In Ears
- Recurrent Headaches
- Motion Sickness
- Sensitivity To Touch
- Increased Irritability
- Sleep Disturbances
- Disorientation and Confusion
- "Stop-Stare" Episodes (Seizures)
Any number of these are complaints that are associated with concussions and more serious brain injuries. Do not underestimate any of these.
Do you have changes in normal areas of your life?
Concussions and brain injuries impact everone differently. However, everyone reports some change in their life, which means that they are not able to do something or have difficulty doing something they were doing perfectly fine before.
The trick is you may not realize it. It may take a loved one to realize it. If you or your loved one has changes in any of the following areas, it is a sign they need to be checked out immediately for a concussion and brain injury.
- Muscle Strength
- Ability To Concentrate
- Auditory Comprehension
- Paying Attention
- Decision Making
- Initiation and Execution Of A Task
- Speed Of Processing
- Sexual Drive
- Social Isolation/Involvement
- Quality Of, Or Ability, To Work
- Behavior (Avoidance)
These areas of our lives are so engrained, we do many of them without thinking. However, when a concussion or brain injury impacts the way we think, it results in changes to the rest of our life. If you are suffering any of these symptoms, changes, and complaints, you are likely going to give it time to wait and see. Please see a medical professional and take these seriously.
What happens if the CT Scan is Negative?
Let's say you went to the emergency room after a wreck. You got checked out and they did a CT Scan. It came back negative. Now what?
A CT Scan is most often used in the emergency room to rule out a bleed in the brain. However, a negative CT Scan does not rule out brain damage. MRI, fMRI, SPECT and PET scans might also be considered, as well as a thorough neuropsychological examination.
Make sure your current doctor refers you to a neurologist to help assess your brain injury, which concussions are brain injuries. Trust your family and friends when they are telling you something is off or something is different. Do not downplay these symptoms to your treating physician.
Let us know how we can help
I have handled many brain injury cases and am the Vice President of the Board of Directors of a 501(c)(3) non-profit clubhouse for brain injury survivors in Dallas, Texas called BIND. We routinely work with leading brain injury experts and researchers to keep our clients in the top facilities and on the cutting edge for recoveries.
If you need help understanding your concussion, brain injury, or any other head related injury after a car or truck wreck, give us a call or email me. Although those are not the only causes of brain injuries, they are the most frequest and the ones missed the most. We are here for you.