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Traumatic brain injuries: What you should know

Motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury related hospitalizations in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 155 people die every day from traumatic brain damage.

Knowing how to spot the signs of traumatic brain damage may help minimize the effects of the injury. Furthermore, proper safety precautions may lead to prevention of an injury.

How do brain injuries occur?

The human brain sits suspended in fluid within the skull cavity. A sudden impact or jolt to the head may cause the soft tissue to hit into the hard bone of the skull, leaving bruising, swelling and bleeding. The brain may also become damaged if an object penetrates the skull bone and pierces the tissue.

It is important to realize that some cases of brain trauma may go unrecognized. The signs may get attributed to another ailment or may take several days to appear after the accident occured.

What are the signs of brain trauma?

The signs of trauma may vary depending on what area of the brain is injured as well as the severity of the injury. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, symptoms of mild brain injuries include blurred vision, headaches, dizziness, confusion, trouble concentrating, memory problems, mood changes and fatigue.

Severe trauma, on the other hand, may include the following:

  • Headaches with increased intensity
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Muscle weakness and tingling in the extremities
  • Sensory deficiencies
  • Seizures and convulsions

It is critical to seek immediate medical attention if you spot the signs of any trauma. Doctors can create a treatment plan based on your particular needs. This may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, medical treatment, psychology and speech therapy.