Broken bones and contusions are not the only injuries that car accidents can cause. The force of the impact can also cause injury to the brain.
A common cause of traumatic brain injury is car crashes, and symptoms of TBI can range from mild to severe. The treatment and prognosis vary depending on the severity of the injury.
Symptoms of traumatic brain injury
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, doctors typically define symptoms in four categories: Physical, sleep, thinking and emotional. Common symptoms include:
- Sleeping more or less than usual
- Difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly
Mild TBIs are more common, and they are typically called concussions. Some people may not even notice symptoms, or signs may be mild for a couple of days. More serious injuries may have symptoms such as worsening headaches, slurred speech, seizures, loss of consciousness, weakness, numbness, severe confusion and inability to recognize places or people. These symptoms usually require emergency care.
Treatment and prognosis of TBI
According to the Mayo Clinic, victims with mild TBIs may not require medical treatment, and people with severe injuries may never fully recover. Treatment for more serious TBIs typically include emergency care initially, as bleeding and low oxygen levels are common. Ongoing treatment may include various medications and surgery.
Rehabilitation is often necessary for serious brain injuries. Rehab helps to retrain the brain so the patient can resume normal activities such as talking, walking or grooming. Depending on the injury severity, rehab may be temporary, or it may be necessary for life.