Understand the signs of a serious brain injury

Every brain injury is different. It's difficult to say, especially in the immediate time after an injury, how it will affect the patient. A traumatic brain injury can cause minor symptoms or may result in massive changes to a person's abilities.

Traumatic brain injuries are caused by outside forces. You might suffer one if you hit your head on the wheel of your vehicle in a crash or if you hit your head after a slip-and-fall accident. A TBI causes a disruption in the way that your brain functions, resulting in symptoms such as:

  • Pain
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Unconsciousness
  • Changes in behavior

...and many other potential symptoms and signs of injury.

How can you recognize the signs of a brain injury?

There are many different signs that a patent might have a concussion or worsening brain injury. Being able to recognize these signs helps you know when a person needs to be seen at a hospital and when they may be developing the symptoms of a serious injury.

Signs of concussions may include:

  • Unusual behavior
  • Confusion
  • Restlessness
  • Slurred speech
  • Numbness
  • Headaches that get worse and will not cease
  • One pupil that is larger than the other
  • Trouble staying awake or waking up
  • Drowsiness
  • A loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Convulsions
  • Nausea or vomiting (repeatedly)

These are not all the signs, but they are some common signs that people may have if they have hit their head and have a brain injury.

In severe cases, a person may be knocked completely unconscious or have seizures or convusions. A person might not recognize those around them or where they are. If these symptoms are present, call 911 right away.

Another serious risk is a brain hemorrhage. Some signs of a brain hemorrhage include:

  • Weakness in the arms or legs
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Lethargy
  • Trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden, severe headaches
  • Seizures (and no history of previous seizures)
  • Trouble with vision

Head trauma is the most common cause of brain hemorrhages in those under the age of 50.

Any time you or someone you know is involved in a car accident or other incident that results in a blow to the head, it's a good idea to seek medical care. Quick reactions to the signs of brain injuries can help doctors identify and treat the swelling on the patient's brain and work to reduce the impact of the brain injury in the future.

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