Be Aware of Brain Injury Symptoms After a Car Accident
Each year in our country over a million people are seen by doctors because of trauma to the head. Of those, 50,000 to 100,000 end up having prolonged symptoms that will affect their ability to work, as well as function in their daily lives.Head Trauma in Car Accidents
A great many of these people suffer head trauma as a result of car accidents. What many people don’t know is that it doesn’t take a major crash to suffer a brain injury after a car accident. Nor does a head injury require an impact with an object such as the steering wheel, dashboard or windshield. At even relatively slow rates of speed, traumatic brain injuries can and often do occur.
If you are involved in a car crash, it is important that you and those around you, are aware and mindful of head and brain injury symptoms because if not recognized and treated quickly, such an injury could have dire long-term effects.Possible Damage to the Brain
Essentially, three separate processes work to damage the brain, including bruising or bleeding, tearing, and swelling.
If an individual is involved in an auto accident involving sudden and violent forces, such as head-on, broadside, or rear end collision causing a quick and sudden stop, the soft tissue of the brain is pushed against the hard bone of the skull. As a result, the brain tissue is squished against the bone of the skull and blood vessels may rupture. When blood vessels burst and tear, they release blood into sections of the brain in an uncontrolled and unusual manner. A flood of blood within the brain causes injury and often various detrimental cognitive symptoms.Brain Bleed After a Car Accident
The major problem of a flood of blood caused by a tear or rupture of the brain is that there is no room for this extra blood. The skull, being bone, is incapable of expanding, so the blood begins to press on other areas such as the softer brain tissue. Brain tissue is very delicate and will malfunction, stop working altogether, and may even die off if pressured. With excessive amounts of bleeding in the brain, the additional pressure will make critical areas of the brain stop working. Areas that control such vital functioning such as breathing or heart rate.Symptoms of a Brain Bleed
Someone in an auto accident could seem perfectly normal immediately after a crash, but as the internal brain bleeding progressives and worsens, a life or death situation could develop, literally within a couple of hours. Important symptoms to notice is confusion, nausea or a headache. If you have these signs or symptoms of a brain injury or see them in someone recently involved in a car accident, immediately seek proper medical care from a professional.
For more information about traumatic brain injuries, see Stanford Hospital's Acquired Brain Injury Website.
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Editor's Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy. [cha 11.2.18]