Whenever someone sets foot behind the wheel of a car, truck, motorcycle, or even walks across the street, it is possible for disaster to strike. While truck accidents, car accidents, and similar motor vehicle accidents can range in severity from the most minor of fender-benders to massive, multi-car pileups, even the smallest car accident can lead to significant injuries. One of the injuries that people can sustain is called a traumatic brain injury. Unfortunately, these injuries can have lasting effects on a person that could impact the rest of their life.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
There are many different types of brain injuries that people can sustain. Two of these are the anoxic brain injury and the traumatic brain injury. An anoxic brain injury is one that develops when the brain has been deprived of oxygen for an extended period of time. People should think of an injury due to drowning or perhaps a surgical mishap where a patient goes without oxygen for an extended period of time. Without oxygen, the brain cells become starved of a vital nutrient and start to die. A traumatic injury implies that an external force was exerted on the outside of the skull. This force can rupture the brain cells, causing bleeding and swelling, leading to tissue damage.
What are the Symptoms of a Brain Injury
One of the dangers of these brain injuries that people may not even know that they have suffered one. For example, many young athletes have suffered concussions without ever knowing it. While there has been an increase in the amount of focus on these dangerous head injuries, many of them still fly under the radar. There are a number of symptoms that people should watch out for that could clue them in to a brain injury. Even something as minor as a headache could be a sign of a brain injury. Other symptoms include loss of consciousness, fainting, difficulty with simple tasks, changes in vision, trouble hearing, and memory loss. Some brain injuries can have some or all of these symptoms. Other brain injuries may not have any of these symptoms at all.
How is a Brain Injury Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of a brain injury is based on a variety of factors. First, the doctor will collect a history of the injury. They will ask about the timing behind the development of the symptoms and ask about any events in the person’s past that may increase the risk of suffering a brain injury. After this, the physician will perform a physical exam. The patient will be asked a variety of questions and perform some tests to see if they have suffered any neurological damage. After this, the physician may perform a scan, such as a CT scan or an MRI, to look for signs of damage on imaging.
Loss of Sensory Function
One of the factors that sets a traumatic brain injury apart from the other injuries is that this damage can leave a lasting effects on the patient and impact their quality of life forever. The brain is a bundle of neurons and uses these neurons to communicate with the rest of the body. For example, sensation regarding temperature, pressure, and position in space is sent from the rest of the body to the brain. Damage to these neurons can lead to a lack of ability to sense temperature or pressure in certain areas of the body. People may not be able to coordinate their limbs in space, making it difficult to perform basic functions. These are symptoms and complications that can last for the rest of a person’s life.
Loss of Motor Function
When people think about the loss of motor function, they often think about damage to the spinal cord. In reality, the spinal cord connects to the brain stem and the rest of the brain. If someone has damage to the neurons that descend from the brain stem into the spinal cord, they may lose certain motor functions. Perhaps they lose the ability to move certain fingers or toes. Maybe they lose motor function in multiple limbs. Regardless, these losses in motor function could last the rest of their life. For this reason, it is important for people to seek medical attention for a traumatic brain injury as early as possible. The earlier these injuries are diagnosed, the faster they can be treated and the better the patient’s quality of life will be.
Alterations in Personality
One of the often overlooked consequences of a traumatic brain injury is the damage to a person’s personality. The various lobes of the brain control different aspects of a person’s personality. Damage to these lobes, through bleeding, swelling, or otherwise, can have significant impacts on a person’s personality. In this manner, people’s very identities could be changed and their personality and mannerisms may be unrecognizable to their family members. For example, someone could lose all of their inhibitions and be unable to control their actions. Other people may forget who they are. Some individuals could lose the ability to think for themselves. Depending on the type of brain damage that an individual has suffered, their personality could be changed permanently
Help is Available
When people are trying to prevent these long-term consequences from developing following a traumatic brain injury, it is important to start early. From the moment the injury has been diagnosed, people will start the physical therapy process. Professionals will work with the patient to preserve the function that is still there and regain what has been lost. Any individual who has suffered a traumatic brain injury should reach out to the personal injury attorneys at GOM in McAllen, TX. There are friendly and qualified professionals standing by who genuinely care about patients and their quality of life. They would be happy to help anyone who calls.