Car accidents can result in more than just damaged vehicles and injuries such as bruises, fractures and muscle spasms. One serious potential consequence of a major accident is a traumatic brain injury.
A TBI can have varying degrees of severity. Moderate and severe cases generally have symptoms that are long-lasting and interfere with life.
Basic information about brain injuries
According to Medline Plus, a traumatic brain injury occurs when there is a significant jolt or blow to the head. This causes the brain to move around, jamming into the hard skull and tearing brain tissues and blood vessels. There are numerous causes of TBIs, and motor vehicle accidents are the most common causes in younger individuals.
A TBI may be mild, moderate or severe. A mild TBI generally produces temporary issues and mild symptoms, while moderate and severe TBIs cause longer-term damage.
The Mayo Clinic discusses that symptoms from a moderate or severe TBI often show up hours or even days after the accident. Physical symptoms may include loss of consciousness, seizures, worsening headaches, frequent vomiting, coordination loss and numbness in the extremities.
Depending on the area of the brain that received the injury, the accident victim may also experience mental and emotional changes. Some examples include sensory issues, mood changes, memory problems, depression, slurred speech, extreme confusion, communication issues and aggressiveness. There is also research that indicates a brain injury can increase the risk of developing brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Along with immediate treatment such as surgery and medications, people who suffer from TBIs often need ongoing rehabilitation to help them relearn skills and be able to function in daily life.