Brain Injury - Medical Malpractice LawyersLEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125
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Mild Brain Injury - Medical Malpractice
A mild traumatic brain injury is usually referred to as a concussion, which can stay mild or become severe as time goes on. With a mild traumatic brain injury, the brain sustains an injury such that there is often a loss of consciousness or perhaps amnesia for the event. It can occur during a sports injury, fall or motor vehicle accident. Any blow to the head can result in a concussion. Injuries that don't involve contact with the skull can result in mild traumatic brain injury. Sudden shaking of the head, such as in shaken baby syndrome, can damage the inner workings of the brain without contact. This is the result of a sudden acceleration/deceleration injury of the head that breaks delicate blood vessels on the outside of the brain.
Concussions can be minor or major. There are generally symptoms of a mild brain injury that does not last more than a few days. Balance, reflexes, coordination, speech, judgment and memory can all be impaired in a patient with concussion. You don't have to have a loss of consciousness in order to have a concussion and in fact, most cases of concussion do not involve a loss of consciousness for more than a very brief period of time. Concussions are common to contact sports like football and hockey. You need to rest after a concussion, often for several days, before you can go back to playing your favourite contact sport.
The major symptoms of a concussion may occur immediately or may not show up immediately. You can have the symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury for just a few minutes or for days or weeks following the injury. You can even have permanent and lasting symptoms in severe cases. Common symptoms include amnesia for the event, loss of consciousness (which is usually brief), confusion, headache, nausea and vomiting, tinnitus, dizziness, fatigue and slurred speech. Memory and concentration can be affected days later as can sleep, irritability, sensitivity to noise and light and depression.
Those who are most prone to mild brain injuries are the very young, teens and the elderly. It can be difficult to judge whether or not an infant has had a traumatic brain injury so you need to look for irritability, listlessness, and a change in sleeping and eating patterns. Young kids have similar symptoms along with loss of balance or lack of interest in their favourite activities. If you see any of these symptoms in infants or young children, it is a good idea to see the doctor for evaluation of a possible head injury, especially if there has been a fall or if there is bleeding from the ears or nose.
If the symptoms last a long time, there is a problem called post-concussion syndrome that can last for several weeks or even months. There can be seizures, listlessness, depression and a loss of attention to normal activities of life. Many concussions in your lifetime has been associated with getting Alzheimer's later in life.
Diagnosis of concussion includes a CT scan of the head or MRI scan of the head which will tell if there is any skill fracture or bleeding within the brain. The doctor will also check balance, reflexes, memory and judgment to see how severe the concussion is. The CT scan is usually negative if there is a mild traumatic brain injury.
If you are older than 65, fall from a height of one meter or more or were involved in a motor vehicle accident and have a brain injury or symptoms thereof, you should consider having a CT scan of the head to make sure you don't have internal bleeding or bruising of the brain. If you have had a seizure, you should consider having a CT scan of the head to make sure nothing more severe is going on.
There is no treatment for a mild head injury with the exception of rest and pain medications for a headache. You may need to forego sports for several days up to several weeks, depending on your residual symptoms and how severe the concussion is.LEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125
The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here