What Happens in a Concussion?

Overview
A mild traumatic brain injury, or mTBI, is the most common type of brain injury. This injury, also known as a concussion, is typically defined as a head injury with temporary loss of brain function. These injuries happen because the brain is not hard or stationary. Rather, the brain has a soft consistency and floats in a cerebral fluid within a hard skull. When the head is violently struck or shaken the brain can be damaged.

As the brain undergoes a violent force or movement, the floating brain hits against the inside of the skull. The inside of the skull is rough and can cause damage to the brain’s soft tissue as it moves across the skull. Additionally, when the head suddenly moves in a rotational manner, the brain moves and twists, causing brain matter to move in a different way. This motion squeezes, stretches and sometimes tears neural cells. Therefore, even a “mild” traumatic brain injury can leave serious physical and cognitive damage.

However, the “mild” category is not as critical as the other two classifications of traumatic brain injury, “moderate” and “severe.” Each category is determined by how long the patient loses consciousness. In moderate TBI’s, the patient loses consciousness for 1-24 hours, while in severe TBI’s, the patient loses consciousness for over 24 hours. In the case of a mild TBI, the patient loses consciousness for less than one hour and still produces normal brain imaging results.


Diagnosis

Milt traumatic brain injuries are difficult to diagnose. It is common that typical types of brain imaging such as a CT scan or an MRI are unable to uncover evidence of the injury. There are, however, newer and more sophisticated technologies that offer more promise in capturing damage done by a traumatic brain injury. Testing includes a variety of different methods for evaluating areas such as motor skills, attention span, concentration, language, new learning and much more. The neuropsychological evaluation may be used as a starting point for rehabilitation.


Symptoms of an mTBI

-Early Symptoms Include:
  1. Dizziness
  2. Vomiting
  3. Headache
  4. Memory dysfunction
  5. Lack awareness of surroundings
-Later Symptoms Include:
  1. Ringing ears
  2. Lightheadedness
  3. Anxiety and depressed mood
  4. Impaired vision
  5. Fatigue
  6. Irritability


Recovery

For a mild brain injury, the timeframe for recovery may vary. There will be good days and bad days while the recovery may take somewhere from several weeks to several months. Additionally, substances such as caffeine, alcohol and nicotine can affect a person recovering from a brain injury much more than before the injury. Therefore it is recommended that a patient recovering from a brain injury stays away from alcohol. Lastly, it is important to remember that professional assistance is very important in dealing with the medical and legal consequences of an mTBI.


Likely Causes

  1. Motor Vehicle Accidents: studies show that motor vehicle accidents cause the majority of traumatic brain injuries. In all types of motor vehicle accidents, the severity is determined by various factors including speed, road conditions and size of the vehicle.
  2. Medical Malpractice: unfortunately, brain injuries often happen due to negligent or wrongful actions of medical professionals. Some common forms of malpractice include:
    1. Birth injury
    2. Surgical error
    3. Failed/Incorrect diagnosis or treatment
    4. Nursing home negligence or abuse
  3. Work-related Accidents: Specifically on construction sites or other hazardous locations, mild traumatic brain injuries may occur when an employee slips or is struck by an object.


If you or someone you know has suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of one of these causes, an experienced attorney is necessary to get the best treatment, help with bills and lost wages, hold negligent people accountable and find compensation for future medical care. Call attorney Frank Eidson now at (407) 245-2887 (toll free: 888-245-2855) or email Frank personally at frank@frankeidson.com. His office is located at 327 N. Orange Ave, Orlando, FL, 32801.