Serious car accidents can lead to a multitude of injuries, including broken bones and soft tissue damage. Yet, one of the most common and often overlooked injuries occurs to the soft tissue of the brain.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle accidents are the second-leading cause of traumatic brain injury hospitalizations. When motorists can identify the signs of brain damage, they may understand to seek medical help as soon as possible.
How do brain injuries occur?
The brain sits suspended in a fluid within the skull cavity. A sudden jolt or impact to the vehicle can cause the soft tissue of the brain to smack into the hard bone of the skull, resulting in brain bruising, bleeding and inflammation. Damage can also occur if a flying object pierces the skull bone and punctures the brain tissue.
What are the signs and symptoms of a brain injury?
The signs of brain damage can go unnoticed after a car accident, as the person may confuse them with other ailments. These symptoms may also differ depending on what area of the brain the injury affects. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke reports the following symptoms of mild to moderate brain injuries:
- Persistent headaches that grow in intensity
- Blurred vision or difficulty hearing
- Dizziness and confusion
- Trouble concentrating
- Nausea and vomiting
Severe cases of brain damage involve slurred speech, muscle weakness, loss of coordination, tingling in the extremities, seizures and convulsions. People may have trouble communicating as well.
Medical professionals can identify the type of damage, help to take the pressure off the brain and assist in the rehabilitation of damage that has already occurred.